“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”
John 14:1-3, NIV
One of the most comforting and encouraging truths about being a Christian is that believers are ‘in Christ’. When talking about different aspects of the Christian life, the Apostle Paul uses these two precious words on seventy-two occasions! For him to be ‘in Christ’ was everything. For when we are ‘in Him’ we have the extraordinary privilege of sharing in who He is, and we are always – now and for evermore – in His presence. To be born again is to be set free from the grip of the enemy and to be released into the arms of our Saviour.
So, when Jesus began to prepare His disciples for what would be His final trip to Jerusalem, where He would lay down His life, the disciples were clearly distressed. They were not just dismayed by the fact that Jesus would no longer be with them on Earth, but where would that leave them when it was their turn to die? They would have realised that Jesus was going back to Heaven – but what about them? If He wasn’t with them, how could they be sure of anything anymore?
The disciples hadn’t yet grasped the amazing truth which Paul clearly understood – that to be in Christ Jesus covered every eventuality, even death. And that because of who He is, there could be no reason to fear the eternal unknown. If you are in Christ, and Christ is in heaven – then that’s where you are going to be too! So, Jesus spelled it out for them in very simple words.
There’s no need to be afraid – you already trust in God, and you can also trust in Me. You can’t go with me just yet, there’s work for you to do here – but I’m in you and you’re in Me, so I can never forget you. Don’t worry, I’ll be preparing a place for you. And then, one day, I will be coming back for you, so that you will be in the same place as Me. There’s nothing to be afraid of!
One of our longest serving prayer supporters lay in a hospital bed, eyes closed and seemingly unconscious. She was very close to the end of her life. I leaned over the side of the bed and spoke right into her ear the words of our Scripture for today. She opened her eyes and gave me a huge knowing smile. She was at peace, comforted deep in her heart by the same words that Jesus used when He spoke comfort to His disciples.
She knew where she was going and, at that moment, she knew her Saviour was coming for her very soon, just as He had promised. She was ready and waiting. Less than an hour later she was in the immediate presence of her Lord.
What joy for her and what comfort for everyone who knew her – she was home!
Prayer: Thank You, Jesus, for the incredible comfort it is to know that when we are in You, we have nothing to fear. Thank You for preparing a place for me. Help me to live the rest of my days without fear, knowing that I can trust You every step of the way through time – and then into eternity. In Your Name, Amen.