‘Last Supper Lessons’ Meditations: 11. Jesus’ Preparation
Jn 14:2 “I am going there to prepare a place for you”
When someone you have been close to for years says, “I am going,” it must surely raise questions as well as sorrow, questions about why you are going, when you are going and where you are going. All these things must have risen in the minds of the disciples. The context is important as always. Jesus has just told Peter he will deny him three times and, recognising that this will raise concerns not only in Peter’s mind but the minds of them all, he had said, don’t be troubled. Don’t be troubled??? But…. And then he adds this bombshell – “I am going”.
But then he gives the reason: “to prepare a place for you.” I’m not sure I’ve ever meditated on this before because, if I’m honest I’ve always imagined it meaning him going to heaven and then coming back but that, surely, is not what he means. When he ‘leaves them’ it will be to go to the Cross where he will die for them and open up a way for them to be assured places in heaven with unique experiences there – ‘many rooms’ (v.2). Only his work on the Cross can guarantee that for them, so that must be what he is referring to here.
Now note a lesson here: it appears bad news to them – “I am going,” but it is in fact necessary and is thus good news. Very often from our limited human perspective we cannot see the reality behind what is happening and so although it looked bad news it is in fact good news.
I have a feeling that the year-plus of the Covid Pandemic, although it has appeared bad news to most of us, has in fact in the long-term plans of God, been good news. Yes, people have died but they do every day from a multitude of things that mostly we don’t take much notice of. Large numbers die of flu every year, or of a whole variety of cancers, but most of the time, most of us not affected by them don’t notice, after all they are not catching!!!! There are many things in life that appear bad news at the time but turn out to be good. Now, whatever else these words of our starter verse say to you, they say Jesus is going ahead of you to prepare for the days to come. Heaven, yes, but much more. Can you see these words as applying to next week – “I’m going ahead of you to prepare the days for you, for you to live, worship and work in. When you get there you can have a sense I’m already here, I’ve been here preparing this day for you.” Wow! Not only is Jesus in control of today but also all our tomorrows! Supposing a holiday-tour agent said to you, “I’m going ahead of you to prepare your hotel, your activities, I’ll be there when you get there.” That is assurance that brings peace in today. Be at peace in the knowledge that Jesus goes ahead of you all the time.