XCIX. With Christ.

JOHN xiv. 3. “That where I am, there ye may be also.”

WE ought to love these words, not so much for the ex-
ceeding delight it will be to us to be with Christ, as for the
delight it will be to that dear Saviour to have us with
Him. Very pleasant it is to knit our joy to His, and His
joy to our joy, and to find them inseparable. If there be
on earth a legitimate selfishness, it is the aspiration after
the unclouded presence of our Divine Master. The steps
by which we go up to it are—the death of Christ, which
gives the right to be hereafter in heaven; the resurrection
of Christ, which removes the obstacles; the ascension, that
gives pledge and earnest of a place there. The work of
the mediatorial empire follows, fitting the soul to the place
and the place to the soul.
Then will arrive the Second Advent, to give effect and
manifestation and reality to it: “I go to prepare a place
for you; and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will
come again and receive you unto Myself.”
There is great comfort in that word “if.” As sure as is
the fact of the ascension and of the setting up of the
mediatorial throne, so certain is the return and the union.
The whole passage is calculated to place in their right
proportions the hope of meeting our loved ones in heaven,
and the all-satisfying anticipation of being with Jesus
Christ. Some are afraid of making to themselves a carnal
heaven by dwelling on the idea of knowing and loving one
another above, but the mistake is that we do not connect
and identify the saints with Christ. He is not complete
without His members, He being the head and His people
the body, so that you cannot know Christ apart from His
members. We do not know much about the unseen world,
but in our text lies the nearest approach one can make to
the idea of glory. What happiness there is even here in
the sense of Christ’s loved presence, and how much more
in heaven!
Be much with Jesus now, to be prepared to be with Him
where He is. What meekness, wisdom, humility, purity,
and tenderness, have we to learn before we can be meet to
stand before His throne! Yet the preparing time is grow-
ing short. So let us live at Christ’s side, drawing nigh to
Him in holy confidence, and so grow like Him.
James Vaughan, M.A.