“JESUS…who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame” (Hebrews 12:2).
It is rare that anyone speaks of the motivation that propelled Jesus to suffer such an agonizing death. The historical and medical accounts of crucifixion are in themselves horrendous. The intensity of Jesus’ prayer on the Mount of Olives, at a place called Gethsemane (Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:39-46) shows that He knew perfectly and in detail the physical suffering and spiritual transaction between God the Father and Himself. These hours of suffering and shame at the hands of men and those hours on the cross speak for themselves of what depths He went through. They are beyond our ability to comprehend! Yet, there is another side of this event we cannot miss.
“Who for the joy that was set before him”! There has never been anyone in all of human history that could look into the future and see as clearly as Jesus did what would result from His death. To Him, it was joy as he considered the vast multitudes that would become new creatures and live for the Father’s glory all over the world.
Are you part of that joy Jesus was looking forward to? If not, why not? Are you living to increase His joy by denying self so that He will be exalted?
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