The Joy of Glory

Discovering endless joy in the boundless glory of God…

Lent Devotional: Luke 24:50-53

Luke 24:50-53
And he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple blessing God.

Leading up to the cross, Jesus told his disciples multiple times in multiple ways that he would soon be departing. At the time, the could not fully understand what was happening and why… so their hearts filled with sorrow.

But post cross…

Now they could see his victory! Now they knew why he did what he did… and their hearts were filled with joy! Even when the time came for Christ to ascend, to leave again… no longer did sorrow fill their hearts! No!

As Christ ascended, so did their joy!

They were watching him take his victorious seat at the Father’s right hand, never to be unseated! His total victory was and is secure… which means so is our joy!

No one can bring down our joy because no one can bring down Christ!

Of course, this doesn’t mean we don’t face difficulties throughout our lives! Of course, this doesn’t mean we put on a plastic smile and pretend like everything is ok! Of course, this doesn’t mean we never sorrow!

But it does mean that we are a people who are sorrowful, yet always rejoicing! For we know that sorrow never gets the final word! Our eternal joy is secure and cannot be taken or torn down.

Christ has ascended and so has our joy!

*All previous devotionals may be found at
*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.


Lent Devotional: Luke 23:26-31

Luke 23:26-31 (click here)
And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus. (Luke 23:26)

You’ve traveled a long way… all the way from North Africa. And, you’ve finally arrived at Jerusalem, the holy city of your faith. You spend the night in a tent on the Mount of Olives, anticipating the activities of the next day. Your mind is flooded with joy as you think about going to the market, finding the perfect lamb, purchasing it, making sacrifice in the temple, and finally celebrating the Passover.

That’s what you have journeyed all this way for… the lamb, the blood, the celebration that God’s wrath passes over his people and falls on a substitute.

You rise early in the morning, but something isn’t right. There is a restlessness amongst the people as if something strange happened throughout the night. Still, you make your way towards the city. With each step, the crowds grow thicker, but the joy you hoped would fill the air seems to have completely evaporated. In its place there is an ever-mounting tension.

Voices raise. Shouts. Curses. Ahead… something is coming into view.

You cannot quite see, but Romans are at the heart of whatever is going on… typical. Now the image is becoming clearer because they are headed towards the very spot where you are standing. You try to back into the crowd… to blend in… to disappear… but it is too late.

A stumble. A scream. A criminal on his knees. A man beaten so badly, so bloody you’re surprised he isn’t already dead. Then, your arm is seized, and your eyes meet the angry gaze of a soldier pulling you from the crowd towards a cross.

The wood is lifted, shifted, and placed on your back. The blood covered man is lead ahead and you follow behind… you know where you are headed.

Crosses have one destination. Instead of traveling into the city with joy, you find yourself headed out with a man they call Jesus. You arrive at the place they call “The Skull.” You drop the cross and fade back into the crowd.

The hammers fall.

Is this what you have journeyed all this way for? You thought you came for a lamb… for the blood for the celebration that God’s wrath passes over his people and falls on a substitute.

As you walk back toward Jerusalem and look back at Jesus… there is a lingering thought you cannot escape and you’re not even sure you want to… “The lamb, the blood, and a substitute as my savior… what if this man… what would that mean… wouldn’t that change everything?”

*All previous devotionals may be found at
*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.

Lent Devotional: Mark 10:32-34

Mark 10:32-34
And they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. And they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. And taking the twelve again, he began to tell them what was to happen to him, saying, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles. And they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him. And after three days he will rise.”

Amazed and afraid.

These were the complex feelings swirling around in the hearts of the disciples as they followed Jesus to Jerusalem.

They were amazed because of his confident resolve to go to Jerusalem even though he knew that meant his death. Thus, they were also afraid because his death might mean their own as well.

Yet, onward Jesus walked… leading the way to his own grave. But, Jesus was not actually leading his disciples to the grave… but through it!

Yes… he told them that death was waiting for him in Jerusalem, but he also sovereignly declared, “…after three days he (the Son of Man… aka Jesus) will rise.” Jesus knew he was going to die AND that he was going to rise! He wasn’t just going to death, but through it!

Does that make you amazed or afraid?… or both?

We still follow Jesus to this day… and let’s be honest… he can lead us to some scary places. He may even lead us to our own death. But hear the confident, sovereign claim of Christ from Mark 10 that still ring true today… he doesn’t lead any of us merely to the grave, but through it!

Do not be afraid but be amazed because of this word that Jesus spoke over his own death and he speaks it over yours… “AFTER!” There is an after! No matter where Christ leads you… no matter what suffering or difficulties you have to walk through… it is always “through” and there is an “after.” Even when we speak of death and the grave… there is an “after!”

Let Christ’s sovereign promise of “after” transform us from being afraid to being amazed as we follow wherever he leads… even to the grave and through it.

*All previous devotionals may be found at
*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.

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