“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former things will not be remembered or come to mind.”Isaiah 65:17
I remember very vividly the last time I stepped on a baseball field as a collegiate player. After the game, everyone was heading back to the locker room, the small crowd was gone, and not a soul was left in the park, except for me. I sat in the stands on a beautiful, early spring day, with a gentle breeze blowing and reminisced about my four years. Time had flown by and just like that, the end was here. I’d be lying if I said the tears didn’t flow and uncertainty grip my heart. However, as I sat there, I was filled with hope. Even though I was done playing baseball, my passion for coaching had grown, and I knew that’s what God was calling me to do next.
What I learned is that the end is something I have to be prepared for—good or bad. It could be the end of a relationship. The end of a job. The end of a long career. The end of a victorious battle with sickness. One thing I am looking forward to is the end of potty training my young girls.
But for God, the end of one thing is always the beginning of something new. We see this truth as Jesus prepared to take mankind’s sins upon Himself by suffering and dying on the cross. Without the end of His earthly ministry, the resurrection and subsequent preparation of a place for each of us would have never happened. You know, Jesus’ closest companions struggled with things ending, as well.
In John 14, Jesus told His disciples that He was leaving, not for good but for a very specific purpose. He was going to prepare a place for them, and He would be back soon. Jesus tells them that they would know the way to find Him. Thoroughly confused, Thomas replies, “Lord, we don’t know where You are going, so how can we know the way?” And Jesus replies, “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” one of the most well-known and clear passages of salvation in Scripture.
The end of Jesus’ earthly ministry came shortly after that moment. He died on a cross and was buried. He was resurrected on the third day and appeared to hundreds before He departed to go prepare a place for those who follow Him. You see, as humans, even in death, the end is never really the end. This life is simply the beginning of one of two places we will live forever, either without God in hell or with God in heaven, praising Him without ceasing for all eternity. Are you preparing?