The Joy Set Before Him
…who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, Heb 12:2
Much has been written about people who survived unspeakable suffering, and one of the common elements in their endurance was their ability to retain hope amidst their cruel circumstances. This scripture gives us insight into what supported Jesus, as a man, under His unparalleled sufferings. Jesus was focused on the joy that was set before Him on the other side of His sufferings. Christ’s greatest joy was not in any position of honour He would attain, but in fulfilling the will of the Father. As an obedient son, His greatest desire was to please His Father. By sacrificing Himself for us, He would be paying the price for our disobedience, and providing a way for lost people to come back to God. As the pain of torn flesh became unbearable, Christ thought of the healing it would bring. As His body was bruised He thought of the wrath that was being placated, and the forgiveness that would ow. As the thorns pierced his brow, and caused His head to swell, He thought of humanity being delivered from the curse of sin, and restored back into God’s blessing. As the nails caused Him searing pain, He thought of Man’s failures being erased, and dignity and dominion restored. As He endured the humiliation of mockery from the crowd, He thought of the honour it would bring to God to see multitudes responding, accepting, and worshipping His Son forever. Christ’s great vision of justice being satisfied, grace being released, sinners being forgiven, and God being glorified enabled Him to endure these unparalleled sufferings. Amidst our sufferings let us learn from the example of Christ and purposely seek to remember God’s ability to turn our pain into someone else’s gain.
Prayer: Lord, we thank You for the perfect example of suffering and endurance we have in Jesus. Help me to maintain perspective amidst my hardships, to submit myself to You, and to see You bring beauty out of my ashes, that they would not go wasted, but would bring glory and honour back to Your great name. Amen.
Scriptures for Reflection: Psalm 40:6-8; Phil 2:9-11; Heb 2:9-10, Gal 3:13; John 14:6; Heb 12:3; Col 1:24; 2 Cor 4:17