Friday, March 29, 2013
Rejoice and Be Glad
"The stone which the builder rejected has become the chief corner stone.
This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."
We often use the second half of this passage to rejoice in the wonderful days the Lord has given us. But today I want to use it in the context it was given - this is a good thing, friends.
The day the Lord has made is the day the stone was rejected.
The day we are commanded to rejoice and be glad in is the day the stone was marred beyond recognition.
It is a difficult day because it forces us to examine our own lives against the stone. It requires us to go beyond the what and reach into the why. We have to take ownership in its rejection but don't miss out on the great truth that lies in between the rejection and the rejoicing - this is the Lord's doing - it is marvelous in our eyes.
God is not a reactionary God. I used to believe that when Adam and Eve sinned, God had to come up with another plan but this is far from the truth. It was His plan all along. When He chose us before the foundations of the world to be holy and blameless before Him (Ephesians 1:4), the plan was already in place. Just as the Lord urges us to count the cost of discipleship (Luke 14:27-29), He counted the cost before He ever said, "Let there be light."
And this day, planned in eternity past, was a day of glory. Jesus knew exactly what would be accomplished on this day and even the Father declared it out loud just days before His death:
"And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone, but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.
Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, Father, save Me from this hour? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.
Then a voice came out of heaven:
I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.
So the crowd of people who stood by and heard it were saying that it had thundered; others were saying, "An angel has spoken to Him." Jesus answered and said, "This voice has not come for My sake, but for your sakes. Now judgment is upon this world and the ruler of this world will be cast out. And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself."
This day glorifies Jesus. It sets Him apart. It raises Him high. It reveals the character and heart of God Himself:
He is just
He is righteous
He is committed
He is unstoppable
He is worthy
He is compassionate
He is sacrificial
He is strong
He is able
He is holy
He is love
He is in control
He is not like me at all
He is Lord
Yes, dear friends, the day of the cross is the day that the Lord has made - we have no other response than rejoicing and gladness! For on this day the Lord Himself bore the eternal punishment for our sin and tore the veil, restoring access to His Father and securing our future. We no longer live in the darkness as an enemy of God, but rather, because of His sacrifice, we cry out, Abba, Father! We have been reconciled, justified, redeemed, sanctified and glorified - all on one glorious, God-given day!
This truly is the Lord's doing and it is a marvelous thing.