The way is the cross and the resurrection. The destination is the Father’s heart. There is no way to the destination except by the way of Jesus Christ.
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled…” Jesus is speaking about a particular troubling of the heart that comes to us, perhaps the most troubling if we face it honestly. It is the trouble that comes when we are faced up with our fallibility and weakness in loyalty to Jesus Christ. Peter had just said he would even die with Jesus, but Jesus had to tell him that that was not the case, but rather he would deny Jesus three times to save his live, before the sun was properly up the next day.
But … don’t let your hearts be troubled. It’s not that failing in loyalty doesn’t matter. Jesus is not simply brushing our failings under the carpet. No, the steadiness of heart he calls us to is not because he overlooks our failures, but because he adequately, fully deals with them in his obedience to the Father. “Believe in God, believe also in me.” “Trust us—we are taking care of it all.”
Jesus says that what he is just about to do is to go to prepare a place for his disciples in the Father’s house. There will be plenty of room there, and it’s the Father’s intention to have many dwell with him. But the preparation of the resting places is by him who has nowhere to lay his head, and who will finally be laid on the cold rock ledge of a tomb. Jesus prepares room for us in the Father’s home by going into the loneliness of the judgment of the human condition that he bore in his own body in his death, burial, and rising.
There is no way to the Father, no life in the Father, no discovery of the truth of the Father except this way. Our only hope is judgment and resurrection—and Jesus takes that way for us, and carries us with him through it all. Salvation only comes via the cross, grave and resurrection. And only this salvation can finally assure us that there is a room for us in the Father’s house, in the Father’s bosom with Jesus the beloved Son.
And when we are there, through faith, with the Father in the Son, by the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, we find that we are included in all that the Father is doing. We start to do the works that Jesus does—like going to death for love of the Father and the world.