I’m certain the column by your contributor Craige McMillan was borne out of a heart grateful for God’s forgiveness because of Christ’s work [“What was the joy promised Jesus for going to the cross?”]. It had some important truths and great quotes from Scripture. I enjoyed it … right up to the moment when he went completely off the rails: McMillan’s (I admit very popular) conclusion that the joy that awaited Jesus when He finished His great rescue mission here was “me” (us) is both pure conjecture and flies in the face of what is the overall message of the Bible.
This message sounds pretty and certainly fits well in this “ME” generation, but if the Word of God tells us any one thing, it is that salvation isn’t about me/us. Of course we are the recipients of a thousand secondary results of His life and death. But salvation is solely about God and his glory. There is NO way around that fact. No Christian should ever take away the praise that rightly goes to Him alone.
McMillan seems well-intentioned and very passionate about the unmerited grace he has received, and I thank him for that. But he seriously needs to read the letter to the Ephesians. The apostle Paul almost trips over himself to make this basic truth clear (actually repeats it three times in the first chapter alone!): Our salvation is not about us; it all is about the “praise of the glory of His grace.”
Better yet, Craige should visit my state and stand on the rim of the Grand Canyon. If he can actually witness the jaw-dropping wonder of that spot and still believe at that moment that it’s all about him, I will pay for his trip and his mortgage. (HINT: My money’s safe; he CAN’T! He will be so awe-stuck by what is in front of him, what God has done there, the very last thing Craige could ever think of would be Craige!)
I greatly appreciate the sum of this brother’s writing, but he whiffed on this one, and badly. He (unintentionally, I’m sure) robbed God of the glory rightly due His grace. Though the idea is very popular right now in American Christianity, Jesus was not thinking of ME as He climbed that hill. No, He had a much more enormous idea in His mind. Christ was thinking about how what He was doing at that moment would bring that very praise to His Father. That brought Him Joy!
Oscar R. Lynch