Then Jesus said to them, “I shall be with you a little while longer, and then I go to Him who sent Me. You will seek Me and not find Me, and where I am you cannot come.” John 7:33-34 NKJV
The coming crucifixion, resurrection, and departure of Christ did not take him by surprise. There were several times he spoke to his disciples, and now here to the crowd, that he knew the events of the days ahead. Yet even when he told them, men are so very focused on this flesh and present earthly life that it didn’t even cross their mind that he was referring to his life after his death. Even so, he was speaking from their perspective… “you will seek me.” In other words: you will hear that I’m alive. Those that should be grieving now seem strangely over it, exuberant and emboldened. People will be looking for me, but because I’m not physically on earth any longer, you will sense that I’m still here, yet you won’t find me. But I am here. I told my disciples I would return (John 14:18) and I did — in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.
The way he said this makes me think of a child, a son, supremely confident in the words and pictures his father has shown him. There is absolutely no reason for Jesus to doubt what his Father had told him about the future. And he boldly tells those in Jerusalem the same — although not in the same detail he tells his disciples. He told the crowd “you will not find me, and where I am, you cannot come,” but he tells his disciples:
A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. John 14:19 NKJV
And not only will they see him, Jesus asks the Father that they may be there with him — without leaving the earth like he did!
But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. John 17:13, 15, 24 NKJV
There is something deeply comforting about knowing that coming events, turbulent times, even unthinkable tragedy, could be known in advance. Maybe what appears as chaotic and random actually has causality that God already sees and knows, and He has plans and purpose within it. Jesus shared with his disciples that they too would receive the same understanding of coming events — the knowledge of the future, before it happens:
But when He, the Spirit of Truth (the Truth-giving Spirit) comes, He will guide you into all the Truth (the whole, full Truth). For He will not speak His own message [on His own authority]; but He will tell whatever He hears [from the Father; He will give the message that has been given to Him], and He will announce and declare to you the things that are to come [that will happen in the future]. John 16:13 AMPC
He said this for a specific purpose:
And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe. John 14:29 NKJV
There are some things in life that shake us to the core. Almost unthinkable. Ask Job. Ask the disciples. Ask Mary. Ask Abraham. Ask David. God knows that if we know he knew beforehand, then we may be comforted in that knowledge. The crucifixion was no random accident. What happened did not take Him by surprise. When we are tuned in and listening, he tells us too so that unsettling events don’t take us by surprise. The foreknowledge is not merely a tool for coping and being comforted. As the Spirit shared the things to come with Jesus, we see him purposeful and intentional about how he shared it. The result? That we and others may believe.