This statement (John 16:7) is amongst the parting words of Jesus, as He prepares his disciples for the separation that must soon come. It must have been hard for them to hear that. What possible advantage could there be in Jesus leaving them after three years of sharing his life, preaching the kingdom of God, seeing him do marvellous things, all of which showed them that He was the beginning of something big. How could it possibly be advantageous for him to disappear at this vital point?
The first and biggest advantage is that He is going to open up the way for them (and us) to be forgiven and have all the benefits of his perfect life, sacrificial death and triumphant resurrection. To do that, He has to go away to the cross.
The second is that, after the resurrection, He is going to the Father. There, as the God-man who has been tempted in every way just as we are, He will sympathetically plead our case with the Father. He lives forever to intercede for us. Heb 4:14-16; 7:25)
The third advantage (the one he talks about in John 16) is that when He goes, He and the Father will send the Spirit, the Advocate, Helper, the One who comes alongside, the Counsellor. He will not just be with a limited number of people for a short period in time/space, but will be with all his disciples – always and forever.
We are the fortunate and privileged recipients of these wonderful advantages. Let’s thank our great and generous Lord, and live and witness in the power of the Helper He has given each of us. That’s how we’ll bring him glory in a dark and difficult world.