For months I have been researching, planning and anticipating our vacation. We now have 18 days until my vacation from work begins and 21 days until we leave on our trip. All of the tickets for our various "excursions" have been purchased and as each day ticks by I become more and more excited.
I have eleven more work days until my vacation. It leaves me in the mind set that I can do just about anything in those eleven days because I know that I have eighteen days off after that and ten of those days will be a wonderful, exciting trip with my family. Work can be just about as busy as it can be, because I know I have a vacation coming!
The Scriptures tell us that after the last supper, he faced his last hours "knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He was come from God, and went to God. . ."(John 13:3). Also, "Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:2)
In going to the cross, Jesus had a joy that man could not understand. He gave us a hint of this when He told His disciples after talking to the woman at the well, "But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work." (John 4:32-34)
He knew the Scriptures well enough to know what was ahead of Him in the cross, and death of crucifixion was a common occurrence under the Roman occupation. But He also knew the Father, and He knew He was returning to the Father who had infinite and perfect love for Him. He knew the perfection of Love and Union that we cannot know in this lifetime. He knew as well that His death on the cross was the vehicle by which we could be brought into that same Love and Unity. He even prayed for us that we would know this unity: "I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. " (John 17:23)
As I continue my vacation plans and look with excitement to the trip ahead, I will let it serve as a reminder of our Lord and how He faced the cross "for the joy set before Him" that He may bring "many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings." (Hebrews 2:10)