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April 3 – The necessity of the ascension

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.” – John 16:7

Scripture reading: John 16:1-15

If the incarnate Jesus had not ascended into heaven, but stayed with His disciples, He would have been located only in that particular part of the world. His bodily presence could only be at one place at a time. He undoubtedly would have been a blessing to the people in Jerusalem and Judea, and Samaria, but what about the rest of the world?

This is why Jesus, speaking words of comfort to His disciples in the upper room, tells of the Comforter to come. Jesus’ imminent departure, though painful, will not be an evil thing, but good. It will not be a loss for His followers, but gain. His bodily absence from them would actually be more useful than His bodily presence. Because in God’s wise and perfect plan, Jesus’ ascension and session at the Father’s right hand were necessary for Pentecost to happen. As we confess in the Nicene Creed, the Holy Spirit “proceeds from the Father and the Son.” This is good and to our advantage.

Jesus understood that the Holy Spirit would bestow power and gifts to the church, not just in one localized area, but throughout the world. The Spirit would fill every place where believers are. As Christians we can be assured that whether we’re alone, with family and friends, or with our church family in worship, the Holy Spirit is always there. What a blessing!

Suggestions for prayer

Thank God for Pentecost and that it is for your good that the Spirit dwells in you personally, and in all believers.

Rev. Derrick Vander Meulen was born and raised in California and has been an ordained minister of the Gospel for nearly 33 years. He is now serving as pastor of Coram Deo Reformation Church (URC) near Denver, Colorado. He is also the General Editor of the Trinity Psalter Hymnal. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at

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