Monday, May 7, 2012

The joy of Jesus

This morning I am going to share what I read in my morning devotional time. It is called The Cross shows me the joy of Jesus. This comes from "The One Year Book of Hope" by Nancy Guthrie.

Hebrews 12:2 He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy He knew would be His afterward.

What joy could Jesus see that enabled him to endure the pain and agony of the Cross? What joy did he know would be his? As Jesus looked ahead, he could see the joy of redemption. By paying the debt for sin, Jesus satisfied justice. It brought him joy to complete the work he was sent to do, which was to pay the price for your sin and my sin. And as he endured the Cross, your face was on his mind, and he was full of joy that the price was now paid so you could spend eternity with him.

Jesus also anticipated the joy of resurrection. He had told his followers numerous times that he would die and that he would also rise again. But they could not imagine the death, nor could they fathom resurrection. His was a shameful death-but not because of his own shame. He had never done anything to be ashamed of. He took the shame of everyone who has ever regretted things they have said or done. Imagine the shame. Yet Jesus could have true joy because he knew he would break the power of shame and death forever and offer abundant life in the place of immobilizing shame.

But Jesus is not content to keep this joy to himself. He longs to share his joy with you and me--as we are redeemed and as we anticipate resurrection--when we will be reunited with him forever. What joy!

Joyful Jesus, I am amazed at your willingness to bear my shame on the cross. Because of you, I can see the joy ahead in redemption, resurrection, and reunion. And I am humbled that you want to share this joy with me forever.

This joy that Jesus could see from this side of the cross that would be His on the other side of the cross, kept Him on task. He didn't want to go through this horrible task of being cursed at, spit upon, and brutally murdered, but in the Garden of Gethsemane he prayed, asking for this cup to be taken from Him. If there was any other way to get out of this task but ultimately He prayed "They will be done not mine." He sweat drops of blood that night, think of the agony that would cause Him to sweat drops of blood. That still did not deter Him from looking ahead to the joy that He knew was His once It was finished. His blood shed for our sins to bring great joy to Him and us. We get to partake of that great joy too. He did not do it for Himself, He did it for us.

Think about this a while and share with Him what it means to you. I love you and hope you have a great day.

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