Reputation. Family name. Legacy.
There is one thing that we all have in common. No matter what your age, race, socioeconomic status, living situation, family situation, country of residence, job, we will all die. Death has even been called “the great equalizer.” When we go, we will be leaving something behind. What is it that you will be leaving behind? What kind of legacy will your life leave? When your name comes up in conversation, what kind of reputation will you have left?
These are all good questions, and sometimes very difficult to answer. We all know we are often not in the exact place we want to be. We all have more to learn and have room to grow.
There is one person who lived who left behind one of the greatest reputations and one of the greatest legacies ever recorded: Jesus Christ. He didn’t accidentally leave behind a legacy or reputation; He very purposely lived His life and John 14:27 even records that He chose what He was going to leave behind. He left behind more than just this one thing, but to His disciples, here is what Jesus said He was going to leave:
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Jesus is getting ready to be taken away from His disciples to be delivered over to be crucified. But, before He leaves them, He encourages them.
The disciples don’t have to be afraid when Jesus leaves this earth because of what He is leaving behind. He doesn’t leave behind money or fame or high social standing. Jesus Christ leaves behind peace. This may not be an external peace, because the disciples experienced a lot of turmoil and crazy harsh circumstances after this point, but I think Jesus is talking here about an internal peace.
A peace that, no matter the circumstance, no matter the hardship, no matter the struggle, no matter the pain, no matter the confusion, can bring joy and comfort. A peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7) that then guards our hearts and our minds so that we can relentlessly pursue Jesus Christ and stay faithful to Him.
Jesus left behind quite the legacy. We are still talking about Him, falling in love with and following after Him thousands of years after His life, death, and resurrection. It is in the legacy of Jesus Christ that we can live fearlessly victorious over the power of sin, death, and hell and live a life of joyfully abiding in Jesus Christ (John 15).
Don’t be afraid of what you may or may not leave behind. Live in the truth of what Jesus left behind for those who follow Him.