As Christians, disciples of Christ, or believers, we should always be filled with joy and a glad heart. Why? There are many reasons, but having our names written in the Book of Life is cause enough by itself. However, we rejoice for so many reasons, including the fact that we can have fellowship with Him, and we can hear His voice.
So many Christians are living in fear or are still bound by life-controlling issues. This not only hinders their relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit but limits their ability to be ready for Christ’s return and life in the age to come. Further, we often ‘obey’ but not out of a heart of love. This also blocks our joy.
John’s Posture of Joy
In John 3:29, John the beloved writes about John the Baptist when he says, “the friend of the Bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the Bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled.” MEV Why did the fact that John heard the voice of the Bridegroom bring so much joy to John.
The Jews of that day understood the paradigm of the bride/bridegroom as it related to the Messiah. In ‘The Life and Times of Jesus The Messiah,’ Alfred Edersheim, a Messianic believer, mentions that God was married to Israel and the tabernacle was the place of consummation. This was a cause of great joy.
Edersheim also indicates that Jesus’ appearance in John chapter 3 at the Jordan corresponded with the Messianic marriage week. There was a tradition among the Judean Jews known as the institution of the ‘friends of the bridegroom,’ and among the Galilean Jews, the ‘sons of the bridechamber.’ So John’s appearance was like the best man introducing the Bridegroom to the bride. What a great cause of joy, the gladness of heart, and rejoicing!
In John 14:28, Jesus tells His disciples that He is going to the Father. They didn’t understand and asked many questions. They wanted to know about the timing of Him establishing His kingdom and the end of the age. They also inquired as to when He would return.
But, Jesus tells them that ‘if you love me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father.’ So, I give you three reasons why they should rejoice and why we should rejoice that Jesus went to the Father.
The Return To The Father
Jesus’ return to the Father had many implications. It meant that He could send the Holy Spirit to dwell in believers. It also meant believers had a teacher, guide, and counselor. Jesus’ return means that He is interceding for us. But the most significant reason is His death on the cross. Yes, without Jesus returning to His Father, the cross and even the resurrection would be void.
Jesus loves every one of us and desires to be with us, but He loves the Father too. The day is coming when we will all be together. Meanwhile, Jesus had to ascend to heaven to cleans the heavenly temple and place His blood on the Mercy Seat. But, in accordance with marriage preparation, He is preparing a place for us.
The Greatness of The Father
The Father’s greatness is a source of joy for all believers. But, unfortunately, the Children of Israel saw the miracles, signs, and wonders but did not learn to rejoice at His greatness. Instead, they chose to murmur and complain.
I am afraid the Western church has lost the ‘fear of God’ and no longer recognizes the greatness of the Father. Instead, we treat Him like a vending machine, or worse, when He doesn’t do things as we expect, we get mad and fall out of fellowship. We sing about His Goodness but do we really understand it? If we did, we would be overflowing with joy.
Jesus understood the greatness of His Father. He did nothing without His Father. The Father and Son are so intimate that they desire that each of us have the same relationship with them as they do each other. Many of us have mastered fellowship with the Son or the Holy Spirit, but we still stand afar off from the Father.
A Confirmed Faith
One major aspect of faith is what is unseen. We believe because we don’t see it, naturally. But, after all, isn’t faith the ‘substance of things not seen.’We believe in Jesus, but we don’t see Him. Further, we take Him at His word when He says He will return. How could He return if He didn’t go back to the Father?
It all plays into the wedding theme and the friend of the Bridegroom preparing for His return. He gave us the Holy Spirit and told us to disciple the nations and prepare for His return. By pouring out the Holy Spirit, He demonstrated His desire to pour out and fill us with His Joy. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit.
There is much to say about what He is preparing for each one of us. In the age to come, we will each have various responsibilities, and each one will be done with joy and out of love. But why do we need to wait? While He is preparing for us, shouldn’t we be preparing for Him and His glorious return?
Like the early disciples, we long to be with Jesus. However, we are joyful and glad that He chose to endure the cross for the joy set before Him. That joy includes a seat beside the Father, pouring out His Spirit on His people, and preparing to return for those who have prepared joyfully for His return and the establishment of His Kingdom.