Easter has always been associated with joy. Whether it was the disciples’ joy over Jesus’ resurrection, the joy of those who live in light of the resurrection, or the joy that awaits us after our own resurrection, joy is surely the cornerstone emotion of Easter. Jude speaks about the joy in God’s presence that awaits all of us after death: Now to him who is able to protect you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of his glory, without blemish and with great joy (Jude 24, CSB).
He is able to keep us from stumbling now and one day will transform us into beings soaked in joy and glory. It is a joy worth waiting for, but every so often, we get a taste of it.
All joy emphasizes our pilgrim status; always reminds, beckons, awakens desire. Our best havings are wantings.
Some time ago, I got a taste of that joy while listening to the sound track from the first Narnia movie. As Lucy opens the door into Narnia for the first time, the strings and flute break into a musical sequence of exquisite beauty. I was driving in my truck at the time, but I had to pull over and stop because I was weeping uncontrollably—not from sorrow, but from a joy so strong that it pierced and burned me. I could scarcely handle it, yet it was the joy I have longed for all my life, the joy we have all longed for. In that moment a door was opened into the joy of heaven, the joy of being in His presence. After I recovered my composure, I replayed the same track again, but this time I just heard the music. The door had opened, but not by my will. It was surely a taste of the reality that Christ has opened for us by His resurrection.
Easter tells us that we are pilgrims in a sorrowful land, yet there is a deep joy ahead. Rejoice! Christ has risen, and so shall we!
Jesus, Your plan has always been to fill us with Your joy. Thank You for Your resurrection that opens the door to that joy.
This article is an excerpt from the April 2017 issue of Stand Firm, a daily devotional for men.
View a sample issue of Stand Firm.