Double Happy Exchange
Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)
The charter member of the first LCMS church in Honolulu, Hawaii, Robert Ebert, shared with us, at his 90th birthday party, that he started the church in order to proclaim the joy of Christ. He was tired of hearing hellfire and damnation sermons, laden with guilt, focused simply on leading a moral life.
During World War II, he helped start the serviceman's group on Pearl Harbor Naval Station which later moved off the base and became Our Redeemer Lutheran Church and School - the LCMS Mother Church in Hawaii and the church I attended with my Hawaiian grandfather as a Keiki (child).
In this verse from Hebrews, we see what Luther describes as the “Happy Exchange,” where Christ joyfully exchanges His eternal Glory for our sins and endures the cross for our wretched and sinful, disobedient hearts.
Through the gift of faith, we are able to grasp the magnitude of his exchange and the joy it brings. Through faith, we are made righteous and given life everlasting.
If that wasn't enough joy for you, there's more. The double part of the “Double Happy exchange” is where we, in our walk with Jesus, get to share the joys and burdens of our neighbor in our day-to-day living, proclaiming to them our joy in the loving God of the cross.
O Jesus Christ, our Lord, we ask you to help us exchange the joy you have for us with others. We thank you for going to the cross where you paid the horrific costs, enduring the extreme pain of body and soul, to take the punishment for our sins, because you knew the joy of Heaven that was in front of you and us. Amen.