Peace that will last forever, but peace we can know now. As we look forward to the Father’s house, the hope of being with Jesus in that place of perfect peace can give us the strength to endure in the here and now. Because He is there, preparing a place for us. For me. For you. Forever.
Jesus’s next statement explained what would happen next. “And you know the way where I am going” (john 14:4).
In telling them they knew “the way” He was going, Jesus seemed to be reminding them of what He had been telling them for months—He was going to the cross. At Caesarea Philippi, Jesus asked His men who they thought He was, and Peter responded, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (matthew 16:16).
That moment was, in a sense, the tipping point in Jesus’s ministry. The first half of His public ministry was to irrefutably prove His identity—and, with Peter’s answer at Caesarea Philippi, that mission had been accomplished. From that time forward, however, Jesus’s primary focus was not on proving His identity but on preparing for Calvary. And He immediately began preparing His disciples for those coming events.
Following the questioning at Caesarea Philippi, Matthew tells us: “From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day” (matthew 16:21).
This is what Jesus had been telling them, and this is why by this point they should have known the way He was going. It was essential that He go to the cross. He was going to the cross to make a way to the Father for them—and for us. This reality is wrapped up in His response to Thomas who said that, in fact, he didn’t know the way Jesus was going (john 14:5). Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (john 14:6).
By providing a way for us to be rescued, Jesus was also preparing us for the place He is preparing for us. In other words, He Himself is the Way that provides us with redemption and restored relationship with the Father. His own death created the path to this peace.
That was why He had to go alone—to make a way through His death, resurrection, and ascension. He told them He must die so that they could live. How? By way of the cross. There, in the upper room, the shadow of the cross fell over the memorial feast they had been celebrating. The only way is the way of the cross. Jesus essentially was saying . . .
I go that way so you don’t have to.
I go that way so you can follow.
I go that way to prepare you for the place.
Jesus had to withdraw from them, for He alone could prepare the way of the cross—the only way home. The cross of Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father’s house of forever peace, and it’s the only way to have meaningful peace in the here and now.