Anxiety in the Christian life is not merely a contemporary phenomenon. The disciples of Jesus, Carl Henry explains, were anxious about Jesus’ death and departure. They wondered what life would look like without the Messiah in whom they had placed their faith and to whom they had devoted their lives. Henry proclaims that comfort in the midst of anxiety and stress for all followers of Jesus lies in the abundant legacy he has left to us.
Preaching from John 14:1-27, Henry encourages Christians to consider how this bequest differentiates them from those who have no such legacy, to acknowledge the joy that accompanies Christ’s gifts, and to live faithfully in acknowledgement of their inheritance. Henry states that the disciples, and therefore all Christians, received a legacy that includes a blessed immortality in the eternal mansions of the Lord (14:2-3), a divine vocation that gives purpose to our earthly work (14:12), and the person and work of the Holy Spirit (14:15-18, 25-26). Finally, Henry remarks on the profound peace of the cross and resurrection that counters our troubled and anxious hearts. It is a “peace that is able to look into the impending terrors of crucifixion and to look beyond them to the resurrection morning. More than that, a peace that can contemplate the agonies of crucifixion and see in the very experience of the cross the doom of Satan, the conquest of sin and death, and the victory of God – [this] is a peace that is adequate for any exigency that you or I will ever be called upon to face.” Jesus has not abandoned his disciples, but rather left them and us a bequest that reflects the identity and work of the risen Lord and Savior of the world.
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