Today's verses are John 7:32-34: "The Pharisees heard the crowd muttering these things about him, and the chief priests and Pharisees sent officers to arrest him. Jesus then said, 'I will be with you a little longer, and then I am going to him who sent me. You will see me and you will not find me. Where I am you cannot come.'" My child, if you don't like a message, kill the messenger! That was the view of the chief priests and Pharisees, representing the ruling body of the Jews, the Sanhedrin. After they heard my teaching, they deployed the temple police to arrest me. Their job was to maintain order in the different areas of the temple, though I had done nothing to cause disorder. The crowds clamored to follow me because of the grace, mercy and healing I granted them.
I knew what was going to happen next. They would come after me, seek me to arrest me. But they would not find me. They would only find me at the appointed time, when my Father in heaven chose me to go to the cross.
But this is also an illusion to my ascension to heaven. In the time to follow, I would be crucified, then raised from the dead by the power of my Father in heaven. After forty days of resurrection appearances to my disciples, teaching them about the kingdom of God, I would then ascend to heaven. There I now rest at the right hand of my Father, with all power and authority to rule over this world and all the people in it. One day, I will return to this world to judge the living and the dead, some to eternal life, others to eternal separation from me.
I was telling these listeners that when I ascended to heaven, I was going to a place where they cannot come. They did not believe in me. They did not trust in me. Conversely, they wanted to kill me. If they wanted me dead, how could they believe that my cross was sufficient for entrance into eternity?
If you have faith in me, if you believe that my death was sufficient to forgive your sins, you have eternal life. It is a free gift guaranteed you, by grace through faith, not of your works, or it would be something about which you'd boast forever. I knew you could never become perfectly righteous before my Father by your works. It is an impossibility. Therefore, I took the death you deserved, and gave you my forgiveness you don't deserve. I took the punishment for your sins you deserved, and gave you my righteousness you don't deserve.
Why? All because of love. It was solely because of my profound love for you.
My child, live in that love today. Be consumed by my unconditional favor for you today. There is no work you could ever perform that would force me to love you more than I do today. Grab hold of my grace. Have peace in my profound care for you. If you believe in me, by grace through faith, you will go to the place where I am. If it were not so, I wouldn't have told you!
You can trust me today.