05/01/S – A Place Prepared for Us

Job 38:1-39:30; 2 Corinthians 5:1-10; Psalms 45:1-6; Proverbs 14:15-16

NT: “For we know that if our earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal dwelling in the heavens, not made with hands… Now the one who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave us the Spirit as a down payment. So we are always confident and know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. In fact, we are confident, and we would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. Therefore, whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to be pleasing to him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may be repaid for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” (‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:1, 5-10‬ ‭CSB)

Before Jesus went to the cross, He told His disciples (and us) that He was going to prepare a place for His followers – His church – and that by going to prepare a place, He would surely return to claim us and take us to our new home (John 14:1-3). By faith, Paul spoke of that new place, which is an eternal dwelling in the heavenly realm. The body that we inhabit now is merely a temporary tent. The place that Christ has prepared for us is our forever and permanent home. Usually, when you build a house, you pay earnest money to the builder as a deposit to both secure the house, and to also show the builder that you are serious about the house. Christ the builder, however, has paid “earnest money” to us as a guarantee. That earnest money guarantee is the Holy Spirit. Those who are in Christ can know, not only by faith but also by the guarantee of the Holy Spirit, that there is a place for us beyond this life. So then – if that truly is the case, what power does death actually have over us?

Because we know that Christ has gone to prepare a place for us, and because we know that He will come again to gather us up, take us to our new home, and present us to God our Father; we make it our aim… we strive earnestly… we make it our life’s ambition to be pleasing to Him. Though our forever home is guaranteed, we must all appear before Christ’s judgement seat before we receive our eternal reward. While on earth, Jesus taught that those who are faithful in little will be given charge over much, but those who are not faithful in little will lose even the little that they have. Before we receive the place prepared for us, Christ will judge us based on how well we stewarded our temporary life on earth. Those who did well will receive their full reward, and those who did not do well will not receive their full reward (Matthew 25:19-29). Therefore, like Paul wrote in Philippians 1:21, “For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

Psalms: “My heart is moved by a noble theme as I recite my verses to the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer. You are the most handsome of men; grace flows from your lips. Therefore God has blessed you forever. Mighty warrior, strap your sword at your side. In your majesty and splendor — in your splendor ride triumphantly in the cause of truth, humility, and justice. May your right hand show your awe-inspiring acts. Your sharpened arrows pierce the hearts of the king’s enemies; the peoples fall under you. Your throne, God, is forever and ever; the scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of justice.” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭45:1-6‬ ‭CSB)

The description of Psalm 45 in the CSB version of the Bible is “A Royal Wedding Song.” The introduction to the psalm describes it as a love song. While this psalm was undoubtedly written for a King of Israel (possibly Solomon) on his wedding day, the fact that it was included in the book of Psalms indicates that the sons of Korah had more on their mind that just writing a love song. In fact, Hebrews 1:8-9 quoted this psalm and explained that it was written about Christ. The sons of Korah referred to the King both as a man and as God. Only one person in all of history fits that description: Jesus Christ.

The language that Jesus used in John 14:1-3, when He spoke of going to prepare a place, was wedding language in that day. In that day, a bridegroom would become betrothed to his bride, and would then go off to build a house (often an annex added on to his father’s house) for he and his bride to live and start their family together. Once the house was ready, the bridegroom would return to claim his bride, and then proudly and lovingly present his new bride to his father. Ultimately, in this psalm, the Bridegroom-King is Christ and the bride is the Church.

I imagine as the Levite son of Korah sat down to write this psalm in honor of the royal wedding, the Holy Spirit moved on his heart and gave him a prophetic vision of the Royal Wedding-to-Come. As his heart was flooded with vision of prophetic fulfillment, His tongue burst forth with praise for the Heavenly Bridegroom as his pen wrote down these words. People of God, followers of Christ – these words describe your King, your Bridegroom who has gone to prepare a place for you and will surely come again to claim you as His own. It is this King – the Mighty Warrior, full of grace, humility and peace, and committed to justice – that we will spend eternity with, serving and ruling forever at His side.

Prayer: Lord, what a glorious future You have prepared for me! My desire, my aim, my life’s ambition is to live in a way that is pleasing to you – that on that day when You return, I will hear You say to me, “Well done good and faithful servant. Enter fully into the place that I have prepared for you.” Help me through your Holy Spirit to live this life faithfully in Your service with eternity with You in mind. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

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