Just before Christ’s crucifixion He told His disciples: “I go to My Father and you (will) see Me no more” (John 16:10). Upon hearing this the disciples were naturally distressed until Jesus reassured them with a wonderful promise of help and spiritual power which is also available to us today.
Having been with Jesus Christ throughout His 3½-year ministry, His disciples had come to rely on His close proximity and assistance. They could not imagine carrying on without His teaching and advice, not to mention the fact that He had become so well known because of the miracles He performed.
Jesus encouraged them by assuring them He would not leave them without help: “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 depart, I will send Him [it] to you” (John 16:7).
At the time Christ made this momentous promise the disciples did not know what He was talking about, until the promise was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost in 31 AD when 120 disciples were infused with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4). For the first time God’s divine nature was made available to more than a tiny number of people!
Accompanied by extraordinary, miraculous signs, including a rushing mighty wind and tongues of fire, the bestowing of the Holy Spirit to those disciples marked the beginning of the New Testament Church (Acts 2:1-4). Confirmation of this awesome miracle was seen instantaneously on that Pentecost morning in the lives of Peter and the other 11 apostles when, as a result of the inspiration of God’s Spirit and Peter’s inspired preaching, 3,000 people repented, were baptized and received God’s Spirit (Acts 2:40-41).
So when Jesus ascended to be with His Father, He certainly didn’t desert His disciples. It was completely the opposite! He would actually be with them in a dramatically more powerful and vibrant manner. He exclaimed, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
The magnificent fulfillment of “the promise of the Father” occurred at that time but, it didn’t stop there! That was only the beginning! When we make the decision to fully pursue God’s way of life, through a similar miracle we also have access to the same spiritual energy through the gift of the Holy Spirit. What Jesus told His original disciples also applies to us today. He declared, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father” (John 14:12).
With the tremendous power of God’s Holy Spirit working in us, we have the perfect assurance of help today and a wonderful and exciting future in God’s coming Kingdom (2 Corinthians 4:16-17). Therefore, let us appreciate more than ever the wonderful fulfillment of the Promise of the Father which began on that first New Testament Pentecost.