When someone who is close to us dies it’s natural for us to grieve, and to feel a deep sense of loss, and pain or numbness (or even relief, if there’s been a long illness) and sometimes also we feel concerned because we don’t really know what happens after death, at least, we don’t know for certain or in detail, and so our hearts are often troubled. – We don’t know what to do or how to cope. – This was the situation that Jesus’ disciples found themselves in the Bible reading that we are about to hear. Jesus had just told them of his own imminent death and it appears their whole world was thrown into a state of turmoil, grief, fear and confusion, and so Jesus comforted them with these words… (Read John 14:1-6).
Jesus reassured his disciples saying: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.” To put it another way, Jesus said, ‘don’t be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God. Trust in me.’
You know, the thing that makes a house a home is the people who are there.
And that’s true of heaven too… Jesus knew what heaven was like and so was able to say: “In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you and I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” – Jesus said He was going to heaven to prepare a place for those who trust in him… He didn’t tell us, exactly, what heaven is like but we know it is a wonderful place, almost beyond words to describe… the Bible puts it like this: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9)
There’s a story told that might help us: It’s the story of a man of faith who was dying and who asked his Christian doctor to tell him about heaven. As the doctor fumbled for a reply, he heard a scratching at the bedroom door and he had his answer. “Do you hear that?” he asked his patient. “It’s my dog. I left him downstairs, but he has grown impatient, and has come up and he hears my voice. He has no notion what’s inside this door but he knows that I am here.” – And that’s the same for all of us: We don’t know exactly what lies beyond the Door, but we do know that Jesus is there.
“You know the way to the place where I am going,” Jesus said. But Thomas, sometimes unfairly called ‘doubting Thomas’, said, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going so how can we know the way?” And Jesus replied, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me.” Surely, these are the most profound words ever spoken! Here, Jesus promised three things; he says:
- “I am going to prepare a place for you…” so that death for believers is like going home.
- “I will come back and take you to be with me…” so we can look forward to heaven because we know that Jesus is there.
- “I am the way and the truth and the life…” a wonderful threefold assurance that Christ, who has gone before us, is also our escort, our guide and our path to God the Father.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled.” Jesus said, “Trust in God; trust also in me.” If we trust in Jesus, He alone is the one who can bring us to the Father. But how do we know this is really true? Because Jesus is the only man to ever make an appointment beyond the grave, and then three days later show up for it… rising to new life on that first Resurrection Easter Sunday!
Trust in him. He is the way and the truth and the life.
(For further resources see Death)