And the angel answered her…”And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
Luke 1:36-45 ESV (emphasis added)
What struck me about this is that Elizabeth never got the chance to tell Mary about her baby, and Mary didn’t get to tell Elizabeth about hers either. God “jumped the gun” both times. He used Gabriel to tell Mary, and then the Spirit “inspired” baby John when Mary visited her cousin. It’s as if God couldn’t wait to tell either one of them the news about John or Jesus.
We focus on the sacrifice of Jesus, and we definitely should. But we also need to remember that the sacrifice was “according to the good pleasure of his will” (Ephesians 1:5, KJV). God didn’t save us through gritted teeth. There is rejoicing in heaven when even one sinner repents (Luke 15:7). God was excited to carry out his plan.
I don’t think about this enough. I more often think God saved me out of some sort of love that’s more dutiful than joyful, which just doesn’t make sense. It just shows how messed up my thinking can get about this. I need to remember just how happy God is to have me back in His family.