[Jesus said,] "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." - John 16:7
I remember a young teen basketball team our son, Caden, played on. Though thirteen, one boy had never played the game. It was a good reminder for us coaches to make sure we touched on the basics of basketball. Very basic.
I remember a time I was asked a question that I assumed everybody knew, at least I thought you'd know it if you'd ever been in a church. It was a good reminder for us churchgoers to make sure we touch on the basics of the Christian faith. Very basic.
And so it is with Jesus in today's Bible verse. He's making sure that we touch on the basics of the purpose of his death on the cross. Very basic.
We all know that Jesus died on the cross so our sins could be forgiven. That's basic stuff.
But did you also know that Jesus died on the cross so that he can actually live in you by the power of the Holy Spirit? I talked to somebody just yesterday who's gone to church their whole life and didn't know that Jesus had to die in order for the Holy Spirit to come. And they didn't know that the Holy Spirit had to come in order for Jesus to live within us. That's why Jesus said, "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)
And what that basically means is this: if you will believe that Jesus died for your sins and that he was raised from the dead so he could pour out the Holy Spirit, then Jesus will actually live in you so that, no matter what happens today, you will find that you are not alone, that Jesus is your strength in hard times, and that the Holy Spirit will be your peace and insight in the face of your difficulty. And basically a whole lot more.
The mom of the new boy on our basketball team told me that her son never knew that basketball was a team sport. As basic as that may seem to some of you, please don't laugh because apparently he'd only experienced basketball as a street game where everybody played by themselves and for themselves.
Kinda like what many people think being a Christian is. Everybody by himself and for himself.
But basically, y'all, in case you're new to the concept, Jesus died on the cross so he could send the Holy Spirit and turn the game of life into a team sport with Jesus in me and Jesus in you and Jesus joining us all together in a winning team called the Church.
So, if you haven't gone to church lately, you should go and get involved.
Your team needs you. And you need the team.
And while you're at it, invite a friend. After all, being part of a church may seem basic to you, but it's a brand new concept to many, who need your help in learning to be on the team.
And, because Jesus died and was raised, the Holy Spirit will help and coach us all!