In the Gospel of John, Chapter 14 Verses 15 onwards, Jesus promises to send the Holy Spirit on His disciples and on all of us.
“I will ask the Father and He will give you another Helper, who will stay with you forever. He is the Spirit who reveals the truth about God. I have told you this whilst I am still with you. The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and make you remember all that I have told you.”
This is Jesus teaching His disciples way before His Crucifixion and His Resurrection.
After His Resurrection He was seen by a number of His disciples on many occasions, and eventually they saw Him ascend into heaven. A few days later, at Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples and transformed their lives forever.
Let's imagine a totally different scenario.
Let's imagine that Jesus was crucified, He died and was buried, and three days later He was resurrected by His Father and He was seen by His disciples and by many people.
What if He did not rise to heaven? What if He stayed on earth as a resurrected Jesus? What if He made Himself known to the Pharisees, the Sadducees and all the people who did not believe in Him; to the Romans even?
What if He said to them, “Here I am. You killed me, I died and my Father in heaven resurrected me again”.
What do you think would have happened then? What would the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Jews and the Romans have made of all this? What would His disciples have made of all this?
They would have been astounded. They would have been shocked. They would have seen Him as a Superman. As somebody really out of this world. Somebody that died and was raised again.
Even assuming they killed Him a second time and God resurrected Him again, what then?
I know this is all just thoughts at the moment; but can you imagine what would have happened if Jesus did not rise to heaven and sent the Holy Spirit?
What if he actually stayed on earth as a resurrected Jesus and said, “there you are, that is proof of who I am.”
People would have submitted to everything He said out of fear if nothing else. As I said, they would have seen Him as a Superman and out of fear they would have accepted all He said. They would have done all He commanded.
Hardly the act of a loving God.
Hardly the act of a loving Father who would hold everyone to ransom.
That is why it was essential that after the Resurrection, having made Himself known to some selected disciples, Jesus had to be raised to heaven.
He promised the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples. Strengthened their faith and from thereon they taught the rest of us about Jesus.
Even Paul who had never met Jesus, and at one stage persecuted the Christians, he came to believe and became one of the greatest missionaries of the early Christian Church.
That is why Jesus had to be raised to heaven after His Resurrection. To enable us to have faith.
Without faith we are nothing. We cannot claim to be Christians unless we believe in what happened. And that is why the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples to help them believe. That is why the Holy Spirit can descend on all of us today if we genuinely ask for His help, and if we genuinely invite Him into our souls.