25 “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. 28 You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe. 30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, 31 but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.
“The ruler of this world is coming,” Jesus says. Yes, yes he is. The ruler of this world is here alright, we see his handiwork all around us, and the devastation in its path. “I will no longer talk much with you,” Jesus says, “for the ruler of this world is coming.” Yep, the prince of this world seems to be doing most of the talking these days: on the TV, on the radio, and man those comment sections online, amiright? Spewing hate and violence and division. “I am going away,” Jesus says. It would certainly seem so, as we see so much of society unravelling and disasters abound. God seems to be absent, based on what we see and hear, and so our hearts are troubled and we live in fear… and to the world we go to find peace.
Now, God, has given us some wonderful first article gifts in the world to cope in these dark and latter days, but if you look to find peace that the world gives, you will be sadly disappointed. Poverty – abort it, Guilt – bury it, Struggles – avoid it, Suffering – euthanize it, Division – Brexit, Evil – legislate it, Aging – rejuvenate it, Conflict – divorce it, Confusion – embrace it… but what of peace? Our coping mechanisms can either help us to cope or at least dull the pain, but it cannot remove suffering and grief and sin and death… it has no answer to what troubles our hearts and makes them filled with fear. And yes the ruler of this world has come down hard and Jesus has ascended, but if you love Christ, you would rejoice that He is at the right hand of the Father even now. Because everything that He said beforehand has taken place that you may believe.
He spoke to us while He was with us, that it was necessary that the Son of God would suffer and die, be raised from the dead, and ascend into heaven. Yes, God came down from heaven to earth to leave His peace. That means to bring the forgiveness of sins, to overthrow the ruler of this world, to put an end to terror, and suffering, and even death. Now, the world may jeer that these things have ended, but look no further than the empty tomb to see that it is true, that the grave had no claim on Christ. He who now lives and reigns with the Father and Holy Spirit, one God now and forever. And not only did He leave this peace at Golgatha, but this peace He gives to you even now. He showered you with it in your baptism, He feeds you with it in His Word and in His meal, He bespeaks it to you with the words “I forgive your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” And the helper, the Holy Spirit, brings this peace and teaches all these things through the Holy Scriptures and the words of Christ that were spoken. The words of promise that Christ came, comes even still in humble means, and He will come again. And if it seems like the world is coming to an end, it is because the time is drawing near just as Christ said it would.
But if these days really are the days of the prince of this world, if these are the end of days before Christ’s return, then know this: this then is a missionary age like no other. When the Christian Church on earth is called to bring the peace of Christ to the world. To preach and teach all that the Holy Spirit has brought to remembrance of what Christ has said, with a message of repentance and forgiveness. To announce that the kingdom of God is at hand, but Christ has left His peace and wants every nation and tribe and language and people to have it. And we alone have the means of Grace to deliver this peace to a world that is raging and living in fear… to announce “Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” as we provide the means to make it true.
Because in Christ: sin, death and the devil have no claim on us. Christ, suffered and died, not because the prince of this world had any claim, but because He did all that the Father commanded for our salvation, so the world would know that He loved the Father and the Father loved the world. And in that love, He sends the helper to bring us peace until the Son comes again in glory to raise us up out of the vale of tears and the valley of the shadow of death. So hear this: we are apocalyptic messengers in an age of spiritual warfare like no other. And the world may hate us because it first hated Christ, but we have been here before, we follow in a long line of those coming out of the tribulation who have had their robes washed in the blood of the Lamb. We are battle tested, we are battle hardened, we are battle ready… because we have the Holy Spirit and we have the Good News of Jesus Christ – more powerful than anything in the world or that the prince of darkness can muster.
And so we will fight and work and pray… as Gospel bearing marauders and soldiers of the cross… let us rise, raised up out of a world of brokenness and sadness… “Rise, let us go from here,” Jesus says… to the very ends of earth… whether it is a slum in Peru or the dark alleys of our city streets… against the very gates of Hell… we will go without fear… because the Prince of Peace and King of Kings and Lord of Lords is on our side and He coming soon! Let not your hearts be troubled, in Jesus name, Amen.