(By Rachel Joyce)
Joy lay on the horizon
Like a distant, rosy-hued cloud,
As He took each painful step
Up Golgotha’s dusty hill.
Eyes firmly fixed on the joy,
He laid His lacerated back
On the rough wood, stretched
Out His hands, and waited,
As the nails bit deep and
The cross jolted into the earth.
Words spilled from the Living Word,
“Father, forgive them.”
He kept His eyes on the joy
During the taunting and mocking
Of men, the silence of God.
Alone, silent, He bore our shame.
Deep darkness descended,
Shrouding the scene
As holy blood stained the earth
And heaven’s judgment fell hard.
Agony, grief, and sorrow
Mingled with joy in fulfilling His Father’s
Will, redeeming our souls, the closeness we
Will forever share, and glory yet to come.
“Keeping our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).
“So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while” (1 Peter 1:6).
“And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth. I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began! O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me. I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them” (John 17:19-26).
“I take joy in doing your will, my God” (Psalm 40:8a).