The Cross has been described in many ways. In its most popular interpretations, it is either seen as a symbol of God’s love or as the symbol of our sins. Both are right. But I don’t want to focus on either of the two. Today, I want to focus on what the Cross does for us. I want to focus on the verb not the noun.
Jesus explained, I’ll be gone for a while – I’ll have to endure death and suffering. But after that will come a joy – a joy incomparable, inextinguishable, a joy that is indestructible – a joy that satisfies – a joy that grants life to the lifeless – that turns our sorrows into a God honoring bliss. (John 16:16-24) Jesus was talking about the joy of salvation. I love it how Tony Reinke puts it into words. He writes,
“Jesus went to the cross for joy: to buy joy, create joy, and offer joy.” (pg. 99)
He carried all that we would suffer to the Cross – with great agony, and returned to grants us an everlasting joy. Jesus’ words were true for the disciples. And it is true for us too. As the Apostle notes, though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory. (1 Peter 1:8, ESV) But what is this joy? As Jesus Himself puts it, it is the joy of being born again. It is the joy of being free from sin and death. And this is what Easter Sunday confirms us – that this is the joy made available by Christ, for you and me. Jesus instructs, ask and the Father will give you – this joy that on one can take away.
Dear readers, I know we read about this joy a lot. I am not the first person to talk about it. And neither will I be last. But every time we are reminded of this joy – we tend to jump on it overlooking our pain and our ailments. And that just does not seem right. A joy that comes from ignoring our ills is never permanent. And I believe that is not what Jesus was talking about too. Because the joy that Christ grants is a joy that turns our sorrows, our ills, and our mourning into God exalting praises. What the resurrection grants you and me is the opportunity to turn our sorrows into joy, our mourning into joy, our pain into joy, our sickness into joy, our worries, our anxieties, our heartbreaks, our guilt – all into joy. Therefore, an empty grave no longer holds Jesus’ body, because Christ left it as the grave of our sins. So, dear reader… whatever troubles you today, I pray let’s take it to the LORD and let Him turn it all into an all satisfying, and God glorifying joy. To God be the Glory.
… wishing you and your family a blessed Easter Sunday.
Series Index: (1) Introduction: Why Observe the Holy Week (2) Palm Sunday: Sovereign Mercy (3) Holy Monday: Tough Love (4) Holy Tuesday: Who do we say this Jesus is (5) Spy Wednesday: The Temptation of Worldly Logic (6) Maundy Thursday: Jesus, Truly Human, for You and Me (7) Good Friday: I Find No Fault in this Man (8) Holy Saturday: Silent Prelude