April 11, 2020
All DayCategory: Lenten Devotional
All for Joy
“Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them” (John 17:25-26).
Why did God create the world?
It couldn’t be because he needed us. He had everything. The three persons of the one God — the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit — had one another, and were perfectly satisfied in and with one another. The only reason for God to make a world, and to make people in his image, was to share the love and joy God had always enjoyed.
As we come to the end of Lent, to the end of the upper room discourse, and to the end of Jesus’ prayer, we are reminded of why he did all of this: why he prayed; why he hosted the meal; why he served; why he came to earth as a man; and why he made the world in the first place. He was face-to-face with the Father, and he wanted to share that face-to-face experience with us (John 1:18, 17:26).
The entire Bible is a story of God’s desire to draw us into the love that he had before the world was made (John 17:5, 26). Jesus prayed to his Father in the upper room because this was their project, their plan, and their shared desire.
In the cross, in the resurrection, in the ascension of Jesus into heaven (John 17:13), and in the gift of the Holy Spirit (John 14:15-21), the Father heard and answered Jesus’ prayer.
Isn’t it wonderful to hear the heart of Jesus as he expresses his deepest desire to his Father? Isn’t it magnificent to recognize, in Jesus’ prayer itself, that the Father has always shared Jesus’ desires?
The only thing left is for us to begin to enjoy what the Father, the Son, and the Spirit have planned and done for our joy. It is awful to think about Jesus’ humiliation and death. But he did all of this for the joy set before him (Hebrews 12:2). The best way to honor him and to glorify him for all he has done for us is, in fact, to enjoy him! Let’s fix our eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2) and enjoy the face-to-face intimacy that he has always enjoyed with his heavenly Father.
Prayer: Gracious God, thank you for thinking of us, even before there was an “us” to think about. You’ve made us to glorify and enjoy you. Give us your Spirit in rich abundance, so that we might not walk through this life merely knowing we are rescued from death, but that we might constantly enjoy the delight of abundant life and intimate fellowship with you, the King of the universe. We ask it in Jesus’ name. Amen.