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Text Sermons : J.R. Miller : November 2. The Comforter

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"But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Comforter will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you." John 16:7

Why did the coming of the Comforter depend on Christ's going away? We may say, for one thing, that the Comforter could not come — until the great offering for sin had been made. The Father sent the Son to be the atoning sacrifice for sins. Without shedding of blood — there could be no remission of sins. There was, therefore, no redemption to be offered and applied — until Jesus had made His great sacrifice. It was necessary, therefore, that He should go away and should die — before the Comforter could come. The precious alabaster box of Christ's humanity must be broken open — in order that the sacred ointment of His most blessed life might be poured out on the dead world.

It was necessary, also, that Christ should return to the Father as the Son of man, the representative of humanity, and be received into the Father's bosom as such. "Humanity was to ascend to Heaven — before the Spirit could be sent to humanity on earth." Christ also says, that He will send the Comforter. He could not do this until He had returned to His glory and been exalted, in His humanity, to His throne of power.

These are hints of the reasons why Jesus had to go away before the Comforter could come. We live now under the blessed reign of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes we wish we had lived in the time of Christ's human presence in this world, and look back on the period of the incarnation as earth's brightest and most glorious days; but really we have far richer privileges than those had, who knew Christ in the flesh. We have the same blessed Presence that they had, only without the limitations of flesh. Christ is now to millions everywhere, even far more than He was then to a few favored ones.

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