Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Caution: Joy Ahead!

Sometimes when I am leaving for work in the evening, my mind is not on the job to which I am heading, but on the bed I have just left.  I am reminding myself that when I return home I can climb back into my incredibly comfortable bed and sleep.  On some days I actually have the luxury of sleeping as long as I would like, although I rarely take advantage of that luxury.

During my night of work, my mind may return often to the thought of that comfort awaiting me in the morning.  On some nights it is the sheer promise of sleep in the morning that helps me -- and my night shift co-workers -- get through our shift until we see the faces of our day shift counterparts in the morning.  It is the comfort and pleasure ahead that keeps us going through the twelve hour shift.

We see this principle at work in our very jobs as we help women to labor and deliver  their babies.  The pregnant women toil throughout the hours of labor then complete the tiring job of pushing for the joy and happiness of having their baby placed into their arms.  What is the promise of joy that the new mother has during labor? Her joy is that she will bring her child into the world.  "A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world," (John 16:2.)

In order to secure our redemption, the Lord Jesus willingly left the glory of Heaven, left His Father and  took upon Himself the robe of humanity and lived a life of sinless perfection even though He "was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin," (Hebrews 4:15.)

What was it that propelled Him along?  The Scriptures make it clear:

"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.)  

 For the Lord Jesus, perhaps part of "the joy that was set before Him" was the knowing that His life, His death and His resurrection was to bring many sons into the world of Heaven:

"But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man.   For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren. . ."  Hebrews 2:9-11

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