John 14:2 - (Jesus said) "In My Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?"
I have some bad news and some good news for you.
First, the bad news: it is my sad duty to tell you that not a single one of the Daily Devotion readers shall ever stay in the "Heavenly Palace."
And the good news? The good news is that the Heavenly Palace did not crush and kill you on last week's April Fool's Day. Indeed, as far as we know the Heavenly Palace didn't kill anybody.
Maybe I ought to explain: the nation of China has a school bus-sized space station which they have named Tiangong-1. No, that's not exactly right. To be really accurate, I have to say the Chinese had a school bus-sized space station named Tiangong-1. For those of you whose Chinese is a bit rusty, the translation of the word "tiangong" is the heavenly palace.
For some time, those who track the thousands of objects in orbit above us have had their eyes on the Heavenly Palace. Interest grew as the orbit of the station decayed until it became obvious to all that Tiangong-1 was going to come down, and it was going to come down soon.
The problem was nobody knew exactly when or where it was going to reenter our atmosphere.
According to the Space Surveillance Network, the Heavenly Palace died on Sunday, somewhere over the Pacific Ocean. Although the odds of anyone being hit by parts of the space station had been one in one trillion, it appears nobody was clobbered by any of the Tiangong debris which managed to survive the reentry process.
So you see none of you will be able to stay in the man-made Heavenly Palace. On the other hand, I pray all of you may spend your eternity in the mansions which the crucified and ever-living Savior has prepared for you.
The night Jesus was arrested He told the disciples many frightening things. He spoke of how He was going to be leaving them and He shared that one of His closest friends, one of the fellows at the Passover dinner table, was going to betray Him. Having dropped these bombshells, the Savior also offered some comfort and hope.
He let them know He was going to suffer, die, and rise to win their forgiveness and salvation. All He had done in the past -- all He would ever do was designed to prepare a place for them in His Father's house. Depending on what translation you follow, He was doing all that was necessary to offer them a room or a mansion. Many of us might think of a divinely made heavenly palace.
Only God's heavenly palace will never fall apart, and it will never fall from the sky. Like most of God's gifts, our heavenly mansion is designed to last forever.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, humankind can build great technological wonders like space stations, but only the Savior's sacrifice can grant us an everlasting home in heaven. May we be truly grateful for this undeserved gift, which was won at the cost of His life. This I ask in the Savior's Name. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by Luis Sanchez for the Hill on March 25, 2018. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written: click here.
See also: click here
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries