“There are many rooms in my Father’s House. If there were not, should I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? It is true that I am going away to prepare a place for you, but it is just as true that I am coming again to welcome you into my own home, so that you may be where I am.”
These are verses that you’ll often hear spoken at a funeral, in a typically lofty funereal tone: “In my Father’s house are many rooms,” or, if it’s a King James funeral (they up the ante a little), “In my Father’s house are many mansions.” My sense, sitting in those pews, would be that these words have a “later” meaning for me, rather than right “now,” that only the one in the casket is enjoying the fullness of what Jesus is saying. But, more and more, I’m thinking it’s both, just as, on this night when Jesus is speaking, there’s both “now” – meaning that Friday through Sunday – and also “later” – when He will one day return – probably happening in His mind.
Consider two alternate readings, taking into account the potential “now” and “later” meanings of Jesus’ words:
NOW - “It is true that I am going away tomorrow to the Cross and the grave to prepare a place for you by destroying the law of Sin and death, but it is just as true that I am coming again – do NOT make plans this Sunday! - to welcome you into my own home and, by the way, into Me and I into you, so that you may be where I am and I always with you.”
LATER - “It is true that I am going away for a space of what you people call “time” to prepare a place for you in the eternal never-ending glories of the Kingdom of Heaven, the New Earth, the New Jerusalem, but it is just as true that I am coming again as the Bridegroom, with the sky rolled back like a scroll to welcome you, my Bride, into my own home where I am Light and Life, so that you may be where I am and that the wedding feast of the Lamb might never end.”
My friends, you are just as much a citizen of Heaven right now as you will be on the day you die. Your room – or mansion! – is already yours; live that way!