1 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4And you know the way to where I am going.” 5Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.
12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. 13Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17even the Spirit of truth,whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” 22Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” 23Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.
25 “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 26But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. 27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. 28You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe. 30I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, 31but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.  John 14:1-31

I am nervous. Afraid. Even though Jesus tells us not to let our hearts be troubled or to be afraid, the anticipation of what is coming invites this unwelcome fear into my mind. Into my heart. He is going away and I don’t want him to. I want him to stay. I want him to remain. Here. With us, his disciples. I want him to continue teaching. To continue his miracles.

But that is not why he came.

I know that. He has told us that repeatedly over the last several days. But, still, I don’t want him to go.

That he is leaving seems finally to settle on his disciples. Even so, they struggle with his explanations. They pepper him with questions. How much they understand remains unclear to me.

Do they yet know that Jesus will soon be arrested? That he will be beaten. That he will be crucified.

Because that is why he came.

That is why he came. And even though I know that, I still struggle with accepting it.

His words echo in my head. Let not your hearts be troubled. It seems an impossible request given what is about to happen. Given what we must lose in order to gain. Given how much he will suffer. Given how much he will sacrifice. So that I may live. So that truly I may know hope.

Because that is why he came.

He came equally for me as because of me. Because of my sin.

And I wonder. Do the disciples understand this? Do they appreciate the irony of it all? The irony that because we love him, we don’t want him to leave us. We don’t want him to die. The irony that because he loves us, he must leave us. He must die.

If we are to live in hope. If we are to experience true joy. If we are to live connected to, in relationship with, our Creator, this man must die. This man who is also my God. Who is also my Creator. This Jesus must die.

his death is my life (photo credit: abcdz2000 on stock.xchng)
his death is my life
(photo credit: abcdz2000 on stock.xchng)

Because that is why he came.

It’s strange, really. How much promise there is in his death.

The promise of forgiveness.

The promise of reconciliation with God.

The promise of living with Jesus always.

The promise of doing great things in the name of Jesus.

The promise of another Helper to guide us and to dwell with us and dwell in us.

The promise of peace.

Because this is why he came.

Even so, how I long for him to stay. How I long for him to remain among his believers. He is comfort and he is love. He is amazing grace and unspeakable joy. He is God and he is here. He walks among us. We can see him. We can hear him. We can touch him. We can walk with him.

He wants me to rejoice because he is returning to the Father.

But my heart is heavy. I want him to stay with me.

But it’s not about what I want. It’s about what I need.

With Jesus, it’s always about what I need. And I need the promises that can only come with his death. With his resurrection.

With his leaving this world and returning to the Father.

Because that is why he came.

He came to give me what I need. And in that I will rejoice.

Even though the time is drawing near, I will rejoice.

Even though I am afraid, I will try to let my heart not be troubled.

Even though it hurts, I will stand with him as he faces humiliation and death.

I will stand at the foot of the cross until he breathes his last.

Yes, I will stand at the foot of the cross and witness his final miracle. The miracle of his death.

Because that is why he came. 

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3 thoughts on “His Death Held So Much Promise

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