John 16:7 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.
Put yourself in the place of the original disciples. You’re walking along daily with Jesus. The Son of God is not only your teacher, but your friend. You spend time with the one person on earth who has lived a perfect life and never committed a single sin. But then, just when you think things are going great, He tells you He’s going to go away. He’s going to die. What do you do with that?
We can’t blame Peter for his reaction to Jesus’s news. When he swore it couldn’t be so, Jesus rebuked him and we, living so far removed from that moment, are quick to judge his stupidity. But let’s be honest, we would most likely have done the same thing Peter did. If Jesus lived right here among us, if we thought He was going to establish His kingdom right here and now, we’d have tried to keep Him around too. But Jesus pointed out that it was actually to our advantage that He go away. How can this be?
When Christ came to earth as a man, He emptied Himself of His divine prerogative. He, as a human man, could only be in one place at a time. In the brief time He was here in the flesh, He could not be omnipresent. He could not be with every single person at once. But by sending the Holy Spirit (who, by the way, operated in Christ at all times), we could have God present with us always. If God was still present in the form of Jesus in a historic place and time, we wouldn’t be able to experience His divine guidance unless we were right there with Him. But the Holy Spirit is our helper whenever and wherever. His power operates in us and through us to the glory of God.