Christ’s Promises Before His Departure
Updated: Apr 5
Preparing for Easter Series; John 14:1-6; 15-18
We are preparing for Easter Celebration that will happen on April 17th. We take advantage of this period to reflect and refocus our attention on the foundational teaching of God’s redemptive work in Christ. And the Bible encourages all Christians to “16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.” Colossians 3:16. The word Hymn comes from the Greek hymnos meaning song of celebration or song of praise.
Standing on the Promises is one of those great hymns that we can sing to celebrate the fulfillment of Christ’s promises and praise Him for accomplishing what He said He would do. This was written by Russel Kelso Carter in 1886. He was inspired by his teaching time in the military. Part of Carter’s lyrics goes…
“Standing on the promises of Christ my king, through eternal ages let his praises ring; glory in the highest, I will shout and sing, standing on the promises of God.”
Indeed, we can celebrate Christ for having fulfilled His prediction of death, burial, and resurrection. We can stand on His promises and be confident that one day, we will celebrate with Him in His eternal kingdom. Today, we reflect on the promises of Christ He made before he returned to heaven.
1. The promise of peace through obedience.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.” John 14:1
· Jesus predicted his death and resurrection on multiple occasion before this passage.
· They distressed about Jesus’ death because they have not fully grasped the spiritual mission of the Lord on earth.
· Jesus talked confidently about his resurrection, so much so that he said to them, “2 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.”
· If the disciples believe that Jesus would rise from the dead, they will have inner peace.
2. Jesus promised the Holy Spirit after He departs.
“15 “If you love Me,keep My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.” John 14:15-18.
· Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would come to them after his departure.
· The Holy Spirit will help them abide in Christ’s teachings.
The Holy Spirit’s function in every disciple:
3. Jesus promised a future reunion in the Father’s house.
“2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 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.” vv.2-3, NIV.
· Jesus spoke confidently about life beyond this world.
· Jesus equated himself with God the Father.
· Jesus was confident of the disciples’ arrival in his Father’s house.
4. Jesus promised to return for all believers.
“3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” v.3.
· Though the exact time was not revealed. Jesus regarded his 2nd coming as imminent.
· The early disciples placed their hope in Christ’s eventual return.
· To help them in their distress, the disciples hoped to be in Christ’s eternal kingdom.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, “16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven,with a loud command, with the voice of the archangeland with the trumpet call of God,and the dead in Christ will rise first.17 After that, we who are still alive and are leftwill be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so, we will be with the Lord forever.”
Questions for Bible study discussion:
• Why do you think Jesus talked about the afterlife confidently?
• What was Jesus’ motivation for predicting His death and resurrection?
• Have you ever thought about the Holy Spirit’s role in your life? Was His role for your personal benefit or for God’s purposes on earth?
• Why is the believer’s reunion with the Father an important reminder for you today? How can this truth help you navigate through your difficulties?
• Do you believe that Jesus will come again? Why or why not?