One of the greatest flaws of the written word is that we miss the emotion. Even in the Bible. It is a shame that Peter didn’t have a GoPro or selfie stick to record the great moments of the New Testament. Even in most movies that seek to illustrate the New Testament, there is a lack joy in the one who is playing the role of Yeshua.
When I read the Bible, particularly the words of Yeshua, I am seeking His temperament—his emotions. It is not just what He says, but how He says it. While reading John 14 last week, the joy of Yeshua jumped out at me. There was one thing that was most important to him and I think it is going to blow you away!
Hours before His death
Let’s set the stage. In a few hours, Yeshua is going to be arrested and crucified. His disciples, as evidenced in Luke 22, have no clue what is about to happen. Though He has explained it to them many times, they are still convinced He is about to birth a kingdom and that they will be princes. The idea of their possible status as royals is consuming them:
A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. (Luke 22:24)
Mind you, this was moments after Yeshua instituted the Lord’s supper with the matzah and the wine. This was one of the most amazing moments in world history, and they missed it. They were clueless as to what was about to happen. And this was troubling for Yeshua. Three times, in John 14, He expresses this concern:
- “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” v. 1
- “I will not leave you as orphans.” v. 18
- “Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” v. 27
The Deep Concern of Yeshua
Can you see His love and compassion for His “friends” (John 15:15)? In a few hours, He is going to disappear. He will be killed in the most gruesome fashion. The same Peter who boldly proclaimed just hours before, “I will lay down my life for you” (John 13:37), will deny any connection to Him. The others will scatter, dazed and confused. They will feel abandoned and lost.
But Yeshua seeks to explain to them that it is good that He goes. For if He goes to His father, something amazing is going to happen. In addition, He is hoping that they will remember these words after He is gone:
“If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe.” (John 14:28-29)
Yeshua’s Most Prized Privilege
However, the crescendo comes in verses 19 and 20. The most valuable thing to Yeshua is His relationship with the Father:
“No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.” (John 1:18)
“…believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.” (John 10:38)
(Just click here to see how much this is emphasized in the book of John.)
What Yeshua values more than anything else, He wants to share with his friends—and this is His relationship with His Father. Hear the joy and emotion in Yeshua’s voice when he says,
“Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” (John 14:19-20)
This is Yeshua’s joy. This is His ultimate goal: That we would be one with Him, the Spirit and the Father. This is why He must go. He will lay down His life, but then He will send the Spirit.
“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth.” (John 14:16)
And through the Holy Spirit, the Father and the Son will dwell in us. That is the great mystery of the New Covenant. It is what Jeremiah referred to when he said, “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts” (Jer. 31:33) and what Ezekiel spoke of when he said:
“I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” (Ez. 36:25-27)
Paul proclaims, to the Colossians, this great mystery revealed:
“…the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Messiah in you, the hope of glory.”
The mystery of which He speaks is that through Yeshua, we can commune with God. If you are a believer, then you have been afforded the greatest of all privileges, once only obtained by the Son Himself; but through the Spirit, God lives powerfully inside of you. And that is why Yeshua was so excited in John 14.
Hebrews says, “For the joy set before him he endured the cross.” (Heb. 12:2) What was that joy? Communion and intimacy with His bride, with us—restored relationship. Everything else, He already had. There was only one thing lacking: restoration with us, His creation. To see that one thing completed, He went to the cross.
Yes, Yeshua really, really loves you!