Some may be wondering what the deal is with Shane and my (Becky’s) shiny new business cards. Ok, they aren’t shiny, nor are they laminated (according to some new buddies, they should be), but we are excited about them because they remind us daily of a crucial truth:
At Glorieta: College Week, J.D. Greear gave a mind-transforming message on Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Greear spoke of the horror that Jesus went through as He begged the Father to “let the cup pass from Him;” but after hours of pleading, Jesus never received a response. Not a “yes,” not even a “No,” just silence. Denied. Ignored.
According to Greear, it was the first time that Jesus ceased to be in connection with God the Father. The pain and hell Jesus went through didn’t begin with the first sling of a whip, the first piercing thorn in His head, or even the moment He died. His journey of shame and burden began in the garden. It is fitting; just separation of humanity from God began in a garden, so did Jesus Christ’s.
But Jesus did not become separated from God as an act of will or pride or ignorance as humanity has ever since Adam; Jesus chose to endure such separation as an act of love…. an act of rescue.
As J.D. Greear put it, the only thing that Jesus didn’t have before that moment was complete relationship with you, with me, with humanity. The chasm of sin, our sin, blocked that connection, and Jesus was determined to make the way. As Hebrews 12:2 puts it: “…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.”
I get this picture of a pilot about to fly into battle; right before he zooms in to potential harm, he sets on the dashboard a picture of the lady or family he is fighting for. The one he longs to get home to. The one he would pursue honor for, to protect, or to rescue. And that picture brings him joy.
We are Christ’s joy. We are the picture he set before His line of sight as he endured the horror, the sting, the shame, the embarrassment, and the death that was due to us.
As I was sitting in the chapel, listening to these words, my heart was filled with a sense of identity and purpose. It was as though Jesus whispered straight to my soul, “I have named you, ‘My Joy.'” In a time in which I was questioning my identity, struggling with my roles and responsibilities in this life, begging God to “reveal His will for me,” He gently reminded me all I needed to know.
I am His joy. I can stand firmly on this truth. It not only compels me to worship the One who said it, but leads me into deeper adoration of Him.
This semester, we all venture forth into life. It is probably a chaotic one: studying, socializing, teaching appeasing, money-balancing, training, job-hunting, church-shopping, major changing, and time-managing. Lots of verbs to fill lots of minutes to please lots of people, including yourself. If you find yourself lost in the mess, struggling to remember who you are, please remember:
You are His Joy.
If you would like to know more about being the Joy of Christ, what He did on the cross, and how to begin a relationship with God, please see the front of our business cards, and contact Shane or Becky. Also, subscribe to BCMofSC.com to receive updates of Bible studies, worship meetings, game nights, and other opportunities to dig into God’s Word and His love for us.