Is Jesus Smiling at You?

Imagine if Jesus were to suddenly show up—in bodily form—in your family room.

You glance up, blurry eyed from a marathon week of studies or from disciplining a toddler, startled to see Him there. The resurrected Savior is standing in the midst of your daily reality with His eyes fixed intently on you.

A bit staggering to imagine, isn't it?

Our God takes pleasure in us. His countenance toward us radiates complete joy.

Before reality overshadows that image in your mind's eye, glance a moment longer at the Savior's face. Look deeply into His divine eyes. Do you imagine that they radiate with delight and joy? Are they dancing with the assurance of intimate love and friendship? Do acceptance and approval flow from the tenderness of a proud Father? Or do you envision a critical glare laced with disappointment, condemnation, or even disgust?

As lovers of Jesus, the image we perceive of the Savior's countenance toward us says much about the gospel we believe. This gospel informs our sin-stained, weary, doubting, hearts daily that God is not angry with us. He's not scowling at us in disapproval. He's not waiting for us to fail so He can judge us.

Yes, that is what our every sin deserves. But God's judgment on our sin was poured out upon Jesus who became our "propitiation" (wrath absorber).

"In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (1 John 4:10).

Jesus received the fullness of God's wrath so that we who place our trust in Him would never have to. Jesus' work—His perfect life, His death on a cross, and His glorious resurrection—have been transferred to our account.

"For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Cor. 5:21).

The result? We're forgiven. No more cowering in shame or fear of condemnation. No lingering hesitations about how our holy and righteous God will respond to us.

"As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight" (Ps. 16:3).

He delights in us! Our God takes pleasure in us. His countenance toward us radiates joy that truly seems unimaginable to us.

So He surrounds us with earthly illustrations that help us envision His heart toward us. Like two-year-old little Joshua. His countenance seemed to explode recently with joy and delight as he caught a glimpse of his beloved playmates and unashamedly proclaimed, "My friends!"

What a picture of the declaration that echoes from the lips of the Savior for you and me,

"I have called you friends." (John 15:15)

Oh, how He loves us! Go ahead. Glance once again at the face of the resurrected Savior. Then in the midst of your reality today,

"Sing aloud . . . shout . . .! Rejoice and exult with all your heart . . . The LORD has taken away the judgments against you; He has cleared away your enemies. The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; you shall never again fear evil" (Zeph. 3:14–15).

What about you? What image do you have of the Savior's countenance toward you? How does the gospel help reshape your understanding of Jesus' response toward you?

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About the Author

Carrie Gaul

Carrie Gaul

Carrie Gaul is a biblical correspondent for Revive Our Hearts.  She and her husband Dennis have two married children and are enjoying grandchildren.  Carrie has a deep love for God's Word and a passion to see women grow in ever-increasing intimacy with Jesus through the study and application of His Word. Carrie is the author of Joy in the Midst, a Bible study on Philippians.

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