Το παράδοξο της χαράς του Χριστού /The paradox of the joy of Christ

When we come to the public ministry of the last days of our Lord we are face to face with a most astonishing fact, namely that it was in the last twenty-four hours of Jesus’ life on earth, that He spoke more frequently both of peace and joy than He did in all the rest of His three years of preaching and teaching combined, as far as the records inform us. It was on this last night that Jesus Himself was betrayed by Judas, He was denied by Peter, He was hated by the world, He was rejected by His own brethren, He was mistreated by the soldiers, He was about to suffer every indignity physical and mental. He knew within twenty-four hours He would be nailed to a cross, He was Him­self in such agony that He shed as it were drops of blood and cried out that His own soul was exceeding sorrowful even unto death. And yet it was in this very twenty-four hour period, which in many ways may be called the darkest night in human history, that Jesus spoke exclusively of His own joy. I do not find Him speaking of His own joy in any other passage in the New Testament. Let us recall his words: “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” “And ye therefore now have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no one taketh away from you . . . Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be made full.” “But now I come to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy made full in themselves.”[1] At the same time our Lord continually referred to His own peace: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be fear­ful.” “These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye may have peace. In the world ye have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”[2] After He was raised from the dead it was this peace that He so desired His disciples to possess. “When therefore it was evening, on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when he had said this, he showed unto them his hands and his side. The disciples therefore were glad, when they saw the Lord. Jesus therefore said to them again, Peace be unto you: as the Father hath sent me, even so send I you . . . And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them. Jesus cometh, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.”[3] What gave our Lord this peace and joy? I think the same thing that gives us peace and joy. Paul says we have these two precious things in believ­ing. Christ as a Man had them likewise in believing, in the things He knew, in the things He was sure of, in His knowledge of His father, of Himself, His work and of the future.


[1] Ιωά. 15:11· 16:22-24· 17:13.

[2] Ιωά. 14:27· 16:33

[3] Ιωά. 20:19-21, 26.

Wilbur Smith, Therefore Stand, σελ. 470, 471.

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