Michael Card (@Michael_Card) Shares Three Eternal Truths That Bring Joy

Apr 03

Michael Card (@Michael_Card) Shares Three Eternal Truths That Bring Joy

Joy can seem so elusive, especially in the midst of pain and suffering. Where does joy come from? What must we do to experience it? And how can we experience joy in the midst of life’s most difficult circumstances?

We also live in a culture bent on retaliation. When someone hurts us, joy isn’t our natural response. But it is possible.

With these things in mind, let’s absorb the insights of Michael Card on how Jesus experienced joy while enduring the cross.

 

Book Excerpt from A Violent Grace: Meeting Christ at the Cross by Michael Card

If spit was on His face and scorn was in His ears, what do you think was in Jesus’ heart? For a surprising clue to how Jesus responded, turn to a familiar verse in the book of Hebrews:

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame.

(Hebrews 12:2)

Could the experts from the temple have ever conceived of a God who would endure the cross, scorning the shame of it, for joy? I don’t think so. Could the soldiers and passersby that day have guessed it from the condition of Christ’s body? Never. Did the criminals who hung on either side of Jesus sense it, even just a little? One of them, perhaps. . . .

I wonder: What was it about the “joy set before Him” that literally allowed Jesus to scorn the mockery? It certainly didn’t prevent Him from experiencing every nerve ending of pain and hours of humiliation. Yet He endured—for the joy. Jesus could rise above the mockery of the moment because He soared on the wings of eternal truth:

  • As God’s Son, He understood that He possessed a hidden and untouchable dignity.
  • He knew beyond a doubt that He could look forward to the eternal glory that the Father was reserving for Him.
  • And, as one whose whole heart was intent on bringing redemption to others, He was convinced that each violence was allowed only so that—through it and in spite of it—He could bring salvation and healing to a hurting world.

Amazingly, these same eternal truths describe every believer in Christ today. As adopted sons and daughters of the King and heirs of His kingdom, we possess a dignity of which the mocking world is unaware. We, too, look forward to enjoying God’s glory for eternity. And our purpose on this earth is also to be agents of redemption in Christ’s name.

When scorn and ridicule come, we never have to bury our heads in our hands or lash out in hatred. Jesus has gone before. Because He endured the scorn for joy, we can too.

Prayer

My King, for the sake of the joy that was set before You, You absorbed all the venomous cruelty that others could pour out on You. Enable me, Lord, to joyfully endure the verbal and emotional violence I might encounter today, especially any ridicule that comes my way because I belong to You. Give me the grace to fix my eyes on You, who endured so much shame so that one day I could be covered in Your glory.

Amen

–Michael Card, A Violent Grace: Meeting Christ at the Cross, page75.

 

Though mocked, beaten, and crucified, Jesus didn’t seek revenge. His heart was not filled with hate, but with joy. He knew He mattered. He knew we mattered. He endured the pain, because joy pressed Him onward.

When Michael Card listed the three truths that brought Jesus joy, I was stunned to see him say these same truths describe every believer. I had to re-read the list in order to believe it, but it’s true!

  • I have a dignity that cannot be taken away by others.
  • I have an eternal glory waiting in heaven.
  • I am convinced that God allows the violent acts of life to bring salvation and healing to others.

Repeat it over and over, my friends. These eternal truths provide a foundation for enduring life’s pain with joy in our hearts.

 

How do you respond when people criticize you or hurt you? How might these truths help you respond with joy?

 

You can connect with Michael Card on Twitter (@Michael_Card) or on his website: http://www.michaelcard.com/.

Be sure to check out Michael Card’s book, A Violent Grace: Meeting Christ at the Cross.

 


 

Order from the link below and you'll help me earn a few cents. I like the jingle of coins in my cup.

837724: A Violent Grace: Meeting Christ at the Cross A Violent Grace: Meeting Christ at the CrossBy Michael Card / Inter-Varsity Press

Jesus was condemned . . . so we could be set free.

He was wounded . . . so we can be healed.

He died . . . so we might have life.

The cross has lost much of its appeal as a symbol of Christianity. Yet what Christ did at the cross remains central to our faith.

In this richly designed book, A Violent Grace , Michael Card reflects on what it means for Christians that we meet our savior at a cross. Card combs the Old Testament prophecies and Gospel accounts of Jesus’ self-sacrifice, seeking a renewed vision of the cross-the inconceivable meeting place of violence and grace.

24418DF: A Violent Grace: Meeting Christ at the Cross - PDF Download [Download] A Violent Grace: Meeting Christ at the Cross – PDF Download [Download]By Michael Card / Inter-Varsity Press

Jesus was condemned . . . so we could be set free.

He was wounded . . . so we can be healed.

He died . . . so we might have life.

The cross has lost much of its appeal as a symbol of Christianity. Yet what Christ did at the cross remains central to our faith.

In this richly designed book, A Violent Grace , Michael Card reflects on what it means for Christians that we meet our savior at a cross. Card combs the Old Testament prophecies and Gospel accounts of Jesus’ self-sacrifice, seeking a renewed vision of the cross-the inconceivable meeting place of violence and grace.

837717: A Violent Grace CD A Violent Grace CDBy Michael Card / Inter-Varsity Press

 


Christian Authors A to Z Virtual Book Fair, April 1-30

This post is part of the Virtual Book Fair: Christian Authors A to Z. See the list of other authors featured in the Virtual Book Fair.