Jesus is referred to in Scripture as “a man of sorrows” (Isaiah 53:3) and at times that can shape how we think of him. After all, many of the most precious and important moments in his life involved his mourning with us and suffering for us. He spoke often about the sorrow and anxiety he felt as he looked forward to the cross.
But it would be a mistake to view Jesus as a fundamentally gloomy figure. Underneath the sorrows Jesus bore was a greater joy which empowered him to keep going. The Gospels also show him rejoicing in God’s grace. Many religious leaders at the time complained that he celebrated too much and with all the wrong people. After the darkness of the cross comes the joy of the resurrection.
It’s vital we remember this joyful side of Jesus, because he came to make his joy our own. As we serve him and await his Kingdom, our hope is to hear him say to us “Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matt 25:21)