Our heavenly home awaits! – 3 April 2023
By Ewald Schmidt
Jesus the Way to the Father
Good morning friends! We are getting ready to celebrate Good Friday this week. We remember that Jesus died on the cross, as the final sacrifice to restore peace between God and us. We are going on a journey this month through the “farewell discourse” of Christ in John 14-17. It was the practice of Jesus and his disciples to make a pilgrimage to the temple in Jerusalem, when it was time for the yearly Passover festival. This festival celebrates God liberating his people from the slavery of Egypt. Jesus knew that this Passover would be different from all the previous festivals. He knew that the time of his death was at hand. However, his disciples were yet unaware of what would happen. They were still under the impression of the multitudes receiving Jesus in Jerusalem, like a conquering general, shouting hosannas and laying their clothes and palm branches before him as he entered Jerusalem.
Jesus hired an upper room where he and his disciples would celebrate the Passover meal. He began on the Thursday evening by washing the feet of his disciples (John 13). Then, he gave them one of the most important sermons of all times, in which he prepared them for his coming death, but also the promise of a new era.
The next morning, the disciples would feel that their whole world was collapsing, when Jesus would be nailed to the cross. It would seem as if all their hopes for the future would come to a cruel end. Their faith would be tested to its limits. Jesus knew this and wanted to prepare them to face this challenge. He gave them these instructions to hold on to.
The first truth he taught them is that there is a hope-filled future for the believer, even when the short term path ahead is fraught with danger. We live with hope, even if today is difficult for whatever reason. Everything does not always work out as we plan it. We feel overwhelmed by some incidents in our lives. It may even seem as if God has lost control when we are going through difficult times.
Jesus teaches: the path may be rough, but the final destiny of our lives’ journey is safe in his hands. He will be preparing our final address in his Father’s house. When the time is right, he will come back to take us to where he is. I love to do pilgrim walks, like the Camino de Santiago. I found that the expectation of a warm bed and a meal waiting at the end of the day, keeps me going through the hardship of the journey. If I continue walking, I will reach the comfort of the albergue. How much more should we live in expectation of our homecoming at our Father’s house, at the end of life’s journey?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, my journey in life is difficult sometimes. Thank you that you have given me hope. Although today may be tough, you will help me to endure until I arrive safely at our Father’s house. Amen