The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ “The King of Israel!” (John 12:12-13 *)
So, why did Jesus do it? Why would He go into Jerusalem knowing full well He would be betrayed by His own friends, falsely arrested, beaten mercilessly, unjustly tried, and then killed in the most excruciating and humiliating way possible? Why would anyone do this?
Of course, we know the answer from Scripture. He endured it all because of “the joy that was set before Him”:
2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Heb.12:2 *)
But what was this joy set before Jesus? It could only be the j0y of seeing us in the Divine Dance. Why? Because He, the Eternal Son, already had infinite joy in intimate fellowship the Father before He took on human flesh. No, He didn’t come for Himself. Jesus willingly endured it all to fulfill God’s dream for you and me.
I would like to reprint an absolutely stunning description of this redemption story. Please read it, meditate on it, and let it resonate deeply (emphasis added):
The Trinitarian Vision
©C. Baxter Kruger, Ph.D. 2012
“From all eternity, God is not alone and solitary, but lives as Father, Son and Spirit in a rich and glorious and abounding fellowship of utter oneness. There is no emptiness in this circle, no depression or fear or insecurity. The Trinitarian life is a great dance of unchained communion and intimacy, fired by passionate, self-giving and other-centered love, and mutual delight. This life is good. It is right, unique, full of music and joy, blessedness and peace. Such love, giving rise to such togetherness and fellowship and oneness, is the womb of the universe and of humanity within it.
The stunning truth is that this Triune God, in amazing and lavish love, determined to open the circle and share the Trinitarian life with others. This is the one, eternal and abiding reason for the creation of the world and of human life. There is no other God, no other will of God, no second plan, no hidden agenda for human beings. Before the creation of the world, the Father, Son and Spirit set their love upon us and planned to bring us to share and know and experience the Trinitarian life itself. Unto this end the cosmos was called into being, and the human race was fashioned, and Adam and Eve were given a place in the coming of Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son himself, in and through whom the dream of our adoption would be accomplished.
Before creation, it was decided that the Son would cross every chasm between the Triune God and humanity and establish a real and abiding relationship with us—union. Jesus was predestined to be the mediator, the one in and through whom the very life of the Triune God would enter human existence, and human existence would be lifted up to share in the Trinitarian life.
When Adam and Eve rebelled, ushering in chaos and misery into God’s creation, the Father, Son and Spirit never abandoned their dream, but wonderfully incorporated darkness and sin into the tapestry of the coming incarnation. As the Father’s Son became human, and as he submitted himself to bear our anger, and bizarre blindness, and as he gave himself to suffer a murderous death at our hands, he established a real and abiding relationship with fallen humanity at our very worst—and he brought his Father and the Holy Spirit with him. It was in Jesus himself, and in his death at our bitter hands, that the Trinitarian life of God pitched its tent in our hell on earth, thereby uniting all that the Father, Son and Spirit share with all that we are in our brokenness, shame and sin—adoption.
In the life and death of Jesus the Holy Spirit made his way into human pain and blindness. Inside our broken inner worlds the Spirit works to reveal Jesus in us so that we can meet Jesus himself in our own sin and shame, and begin to see what Jesus sees, and know his Father with him. The Holy Spirit takes of Jesus and discloses it to us, so that we can know and experience Jesus’ own relationship with his Father, and we can be free to live in the Father’s embrace with Jesus. As the Spirit works we are summoned to take sides with Jesus against our own darkness and prejudice, and take simple steps of trust and change. As we do Jesus’ own anointing with the Spirit—his own fellowship with his Father, his own unearthly assurance, his own freedom and joy and power in the Spirit—begin to form in us, while not diminishing but augmenting and freeing our own uniqueness as persons. The Spirit’s passion is to bring his anointing of Jesus to full and personal and abiding expression in us as unique persons, and not only in us personally, but in our relationship with the Father in Jesus, and in our relationships with one another, and indeed with all creation, until the whole cosmos is a living sacrament of the great dance of the Triune God.”
An excerpt from The Shack Revisited, C. Baxter Kruger, 2012. “Summary of the Trinitarian Vision.”
23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. (John 17:23 *)