What if God said he planned to kill your mother? Your sister? Brother? Best friend?
He did exactly that to the Prophet Ezekiel. God said, “I am about to take the delight of your eyes away from you at a stroke; yet you shall not mourn or weep, nor shall your tears run down. Sigh, but not aloud; make no mourning for the dead” and the next evening Ezekiel’s wife died (Ez. 24:16-18).
Ezekiel obeys God by choosing not to mourn the loss of his “joy and glory.” He does this to show Israel the true cost of their sin: losing their joy, hope, and love. We all deserve this for our sin: despondency, grief, heartache, and hurt. Our sin would destroy us all emotionally, if not for Christ.
On the cross Jesus substituted himself for us; he gave up his greatest joy and glory, to be with his father. Likewise, the father gave up his great joy, his only son Jesus. Rather than grieving over Jesus’ death, the father forsook him. They experienced pain that none of us could bear. They ripped their hearts, so that our hearts might remain whole.
Jesus lived a perfect life, and deserved perfect, incredible Joy. He gave up his joy on the cross, so we could recieve the perfect joy he deserved. He gives us eternal pleasure, happiness, warmth, kindness, love, and beauty in himself.
Before Jesus we did not know joy, but only experienced shades of joy momentarily, like flickering candle. In Jesus we have a new promise: joy today and joy in heaven, where it shall not pass away. For in heaven, we will dwell with Christ, who is the perfect object of all joy. He is the incomparable joy, the imperishable joy, the ultimate joy, and by the cross he lets us behold him today and in the day to come.