Posted by: pastortomvabeach | October 18, 2017

Thought for the Week October 22, 2017

John’s gospel records Jesus telling his disciples that He was going to prepare a place for them:. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. (John 14:2-3)

It is generally thought that by saying He was going to prepare a place for the disciples and His other followers, Jesus meant He was getting their mansions (or rooms) in heaven ready for them. We imagine this splendid castle-like building that has a “Reserved” sign on it with my name. Jesus prepared my mansion in heaven.

As I was studying this passage, I began to wonder if the meaning isn’t more directed at preparing me for the mansion in heaven than preparing the mansion for me. I found Scriptures that indicate that the place in heaven has already been there, prepared and ready, even before God created anything. In the parable of the sheep and goats, Jesus tells us that the King will say to sheep on his right hand, “Come, blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” (Matthew 25:34) That seems to tell me that all the wonders of heaven have been in place since the beginning. Why would Jesus say, I go to prepare a place for you?

May I suggest that everything is definitely in readiness; the mansions are there and the Lord is waiting, but when Jesus was speaking something still prevented anyone from entering that eternal kingdom. When Jesus went to prepare, He went to remove the barrier that prevents anyone from getting into the Father’s house. He went to open the reservation book so the place would be ready to receive us. What did He go to do?

That very night Jesus was arrested. The next morning He was illegally tried, beaten to a pulp, condemned to die, and nailed to a cross. On that cross He took the cup of God’s wrath against sin, the just judgment for my sin and for yours. Isaiah 53:4-6 says, Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows…He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. Jesus became sin for us so that the door to the mansions could be opened and reservations could be taken. Isaiah goes on to say, It pleased the LORD to bruise Him…when You make His soul an offering for sin… He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities. (Isaiah 53:10-11)

Jesus prepared the place for us by preparing us for the place. He removed the sin barrier by satisfying God’s justice on our behalf. When we trust in Him, as His disciples did, our names are placed in the reservation book, on heaven’s A-list. The mansion prepared from the foundation of the world now has my name and yours on it, if you trust in Jesus.

And the second awesome thing He said was that He would come back to get us so we can be there with Him. Some of us might get to hear the trumpet blast when Jesus returns the second time but even if we don’t, He will be waiting on the other side of this life to greet us and escort us to the Father’s house, the mansion He and only He could make available to us.

May I ask, is your reservation in the book? Have you opened your heart and trusted in the only God and Savior, Jesus Christ? He’s waiting for you to do that. If you have, is there anyone you would like to add to the A-list? How could you help them to see that Jesus is waiting for them, too? Maybe that’s your mission: making Jesus known. Just a thought.

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