The last post projected an image of the horrors of the cross. This post will illuminate the beauty and joy of the resurrection. If we only look at the cross and ignore the resurrection, then Jesus death for the human race seems pointless and hopeless.
He knew why he came. The prophets emphasised the coming of Jesus to earth, Isaiah 53 paints a picture of the cross. Jesus knew his purpose for coming too. Consider Hebrews 12:2 which states, ‘for the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God’. A demonstration of trust took place during the life of Christ. A trust that somehow without doing anything wrong he would die the kind of death reserved for the worst criminals. How does an innocent man die in the place of the guilty? If I was in the sandals of Jesus when walking this earth this question would always be on my mind, I’m sure it would be on yours too. Yet he knew the joy beyond the cross, this question didn’t even occur to him because his trust was based on the divine power of God almighty rather than human reasoning. He knew his life would be an offering for the guilty on the cross, that’s why he paid the price of the guilty. Jesus literally could have said, ‘I have the weight of the world on my shoulders’, but he didn’t. Instead his words were, ‘not my will but yours be done’.
A place reserved. Before the ministry of Jesus began just after his baptism from John the Baptist, the Heavens opened and a voice was heard saying, ‘this is my son, with him I am well pleased’. (Matthew 3) Jesus didn’t tick all the boxes by healing so and so, or speaking the truth here and there, or doing good before the father spoke to him from heaven. God was pleased because ‘this was his son’. His place at the throne was reserved before he did a thing on earth, the father knew his son would accomplish the mission and die for the sins of the world. So it was this joy that Jesus had his mind set on. Despite opposition, crowds surrounding him for healing and teachings, and the torment of the cross itself, he never lost his focus on the joy beyond the pain.
Joy for believers too. Yes we can set our hearts and minds on this joy too. We face hardship and pain in this life, in this life we will have tribulation. Take heart, Jesus overcame the world, through him we overcome too. A far better place awaits us for eternity, and what’s our life compared to that? It’s just a small island in the big wide sea or a star in the vastness of the universe, there is not much comparison. When we have faith it pleases God, because having faith in him shows that we believe in his existence. If we do not believe in him how can we please him. So we can face the cross in our own life and look forward to the joy beyond, the joy of our resurrection through the same power that rose Christ from the grave.
Hebrews 12:2 Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scoring it’s shame, and sat down at the right hand of he throne of God.