Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!
We are in the season of Easter, the 40 days between the resurrection and the ascension of our Lord. In this season, Jesus stayed with his disciples in a visible form.
Our text for today is part of a long discourse by Jesus on Holy Thursday. One difference between the Gospel according to St. John and the accounts of the other evangelists is the emphasis on the discourses of Jesus in detail. Matthew, Mark and Luke record the words of Jesus briefly and the narrative moves quickly, like an action movie. The pace of Johnís Gospel is slower and his focus is on the teachings of Jesus in depth.
Therefore, this discourse, in which Jesus said farewell to His disciples before His crucifixion, begins in chapter 13 and continues until the end of chapter 17. Jesus explained that His death, resurrection and ascension was the same work, in which He would overcome sin, death and the devil and receive all authority and power in heaven and on earth. This is the meaning of "But now I am going to Him who sent me ..." Also, in verse 16: "A little more, and you will not see me, and again a little, and you will see me, because I am going to the Father. "
"I'm going to the Father." The Son of God left His throne and His Father to be born of the Virgin Mary, to live as one of us, and to fulfill the Law of God in our place. This was the state of His humiliation, which ended when Jesus entrusted His spirit to the Father on the cross. In truth, He overcame the world, death and the devil on the cross, because there He paid the price of our disobedience. His glorious resurrection was the sign of His victory and the promise of eternal life for us. Finally, the ascension was the seal of His exaltation, not only as Son of God, but also as Son of Man.
Jesus went up to heaven to rule the universe at the side of God the Father Almighty. Also to be our advocate before the Father. But, there is still more. "But I tell you the truth: I must go, for if I do not the Comforter will not come to you, but if I leave, I will send Him to you. And when He comes, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment, of sin, because they believe not in me, and of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and you shall see me no more, and of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. "
"The Comforter" is the same word translated as "Paraclete" in our hymn. Paraclete means someone who walks by our side, as a guide and helper. The Comforter is the third person of the Holy Trinity, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, as these verses say.
Jesus in His public ministry called people to repentance and the promise of new life. The Lord gave this missionary work to His church after his resurrection, but before His ascension. By the power of the Spirit, who lives in the heart of every believer, the church can preach the Law and the Gospel in all parts of the world. If Jesus remained in this world in a visible way, people would have to travel to the place where Jesus was present to hear His voice. But, by the work of the Holy Spirit, the voice of Jesus can be heard in many places at the same time. Also, because He ascended to the Father, Jesus can be present with the Father and the Holy Spirit in every baptism of the church, and the body and blood of Christ is present each time we celebrate the Lord's Supper.
"I still have many things to say to you, but now you can not take them in. But when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth, for He will not speak of Himself, but will speak whatever He hears, and will let you know things that are to come, He will glorify me, for He will take what is mine and will declare it to you, all that the Father has is mine, therefore I said that He will take what is mine and declare it to you. "
The Holy Spirit was involved in creation with the Father and the Son. By His work, Jesus was conceived and born of the Virgin Mary. But He will not speak of Himself, that is, He does not proclaim a new revelation, but illuminates what was written by the prophets and the apostles. Because all this is the teaching of Jesus Christ. He guides us to all truth. He is active in the preaching of the Word, so to listen to the preaching is to hear the voice of Christ himself. This is our lamp in the darkness, in the confusion of the voices that claim that they have the truth.
In this, we have the peace that surpasses all understanding. Amen.
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