Saturday, April 02, 2011

The Joy of Christ

In John 17, Jesus prayed, "that my joy might be fulfilled in themselves." Marcus Rainsford in his book, "Our Lord Prays for His Own", discusses this phrase:

"My joy" as being His own joy. When He speaks of the peace He bestows upon His people, it is "my peace I give unto you"; when He speaks of the rest into which He introduces them, it is "my rest"; when He speaks of the strength He imparts to them, it is "my strength"; when He speaks of the life He bestows upon them, it is His own, "I am...the Life"; when He speaks of the way opened out for them, "I am the way"; when He speaks of the fullness He supplies to them, it is "His fullness'; and of the grace which supplies it, it is "my grace." So here when He speaks of the joy He would have His people possessed of, it is "my joy." What was His joy? God Himself was His joy. If David could say in Psalm 43, "I will God, my exceeding joy," how much more the Lord Jesus Christ! His God was His joy; God, as His own God, was His joy. He only knew Him fully that He might rejoice in Him. The only begotten Son, which was in the bosom of the Father, alone knew the Father, so as fully to apprehend how much ground of joy was in Him.

The doing of that Father's will was His joy; the fulfilling of all that Father's pleasure for the salvation of His people was His joy; the being in Himself all in all -- the Mediator between God and man--was his joy. The fullness and freeness of His salvation--the fact that all power in heaven and earth was committed to him for men was His joy! the constancy and complacency of His Father's love to Him, and to His people, which He knew so well and so deeply was His joy; the gift of His people to Him was His joy; their union to Himself for their full enjoyment of grace here, and their full possession of glory hereafter was His joy; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have "My joy fulfilled in themselves."

Excerpt from "Our Lord Prays for His Own" by Marcus Rainsford. Moody Press, Chicago, 1950, pp 242-243

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