Last year, we celebrated my parents’ marriage with a renewal ceremony. They wrote and spoke new vows to each other, reinforcing the commitment they made years ago. They spoke in the presence of their children and grandchildren. It was a moment of hope.
Love does that. It brings hope to the driest, darkest, hardest parts of life. If only someone loves us, we can find the strength to carry on. Jesus knew the Father’s love so deeply and so intimately that He was able to face the cross and complete the work for which He was sent into the world. But His love wasn’t just from and for His heavenly Father, it was also for us. For you and me. True and pure and deep and unfailing.
I recently saw a movie where two people are in love, fighting a great battle, and one almost dies. Her lover forgets the cause in order to find the one he loves, to save her, and he thinks he is too late. When she finally awakens and shows she is still alive, he holds onto her. “You’re here,” she whispers. And he replies, “If you die, I die.”
So intertwined is his heart with hers that he can’t imagine moving forward without her by his side. (Insert adoring sigh here.)
Jesus takes this sentiment to a deeper, grander place. In John 14:19, He says, “Because I live, you also will live.”
Because He lives, we will live.
In our flesh, we have to submit to death. But Jesus wasn’t limited to death. His tale isn’t a tragic romance where the lovers must die together and “The End” flashes on the screen. In His story, Jesus conquers death and gifts life eternal to His Beloved. His whole mission was romantic, really.
Jesus didn’t want to face eternity without me. Without you. He didn’t want my death to be the end of our love story, of our time together. He wanted us with Him, so He conquered death and gave His life to us. Because He lives, we will live.
Right now, Jesus is preparing us a place. An eternal place. A deathless place. “I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” Ah. For me, this is largely the source of the peace Jesus speaks about later in John 14. My soul used to get so anxious and tired of my betrothed having to leave at the end of an evening. We were dating, we were engaged…we weren’t married. So at the end of a date, we always went to our separate homes. We dreamed of the moment when, at the end of the day, we didn’t have to say goodbye. We dreamt of going to our home together. My heart longed so deeply for that commitment on this earth, I cannot imagine how much grander will be the spiritual reality of Christ taking me to my real, perfectly-prepared, completely good, forever home.
Jesus speaks about peace right after assuring us of the reality of the Holy Spirit He will send us in His name. To remind us of all the love from Jesus, from the Father, of the place He’s preparing, of how we will live because He will live…that a time is coming when Jesus will take us to Himself. Imagine a divine embrace, a perfect loving Jesus hug that reaches into the depths of your soul and warms you inside out. I can’t wait.
Jesus, I am so in love with you.
Jesus, I am so in love with you. Thank you that because You live, I also get to live. And that I get to live with you, in Your presence, in Your home, You in me and me in You. You have swept me off my feet. May my delight in Your love carry me this day and every day for all eternity. My hope, my peace, my life…they can’t exist without You. I love you.