by: Carole Lynne Haines
…Looking only at Jesus, the originator and perfecter of the faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:2-3 NASB)
As I was reading through one of my favorite chapters of Scripture this morning, I was reminded of a truth that God taught me from it many years ago. I remember wondering about what was in Jesus’ mind as He staggered up the road to the cross, bearing the weight of what would soon bear Him. What was the “joy set before Him,” that enabled Him to endure such horrific suffering?
The answer came to me almost immediately, in that still, small voice I have grown to love, and which has become so familiar. “Carole, it was your face I saw, all the faces of those who would come to believe in me and who already believed in me as I walked the earth. All of you were the joy set before me as I endured the cross.”
Wow Jesus! I mean just Wow! How can we ever begin to fathom such love, such a sacrifice, such faithfulness? As Jesus had our faces before Him while walking His most difficult time of suffering, He calls us to do the same. Let’s look at the verses above again including verse one this time.
Therefore, since we also have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let’s rid ourselves of every obstacle and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let’s run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking only at Jesus, the originator and perfecter of the faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:1-3)
We see the action words of, “rid ourselves, run with endurance, looking only at Jesus, consider Him. Ridding ourselves of obstacles, what obstacles lay in your way today? Take them to Jesus and lay them at His feet, for He is the only one who can actually bear them and carry them away. Running with endurance is a call to train ourselves, a little at a time, bit by bit, day by day, in following Him with our eyes fixed on Him, looking only to Him while we run. And consider Jesus’ suffering and endurance so that we do not grow weary in our own races. I looked up the word, “consider” and found that it means “think over, ponder, contemplate.” Let’s do that together today. Let’s consider Jesus as the joy set before us, even as He had our faces before Him as He endured His suffering. He was fixed on fulfilling His call, pleasing The Father, and saving those of us who will put our faith and trust in Him.
Thank you, Jesus. These words fall so short of what we really feel, the gratitude we truly desire to express. But language is such a limited expression Lord, so help us express our gratefulness with our thoughts, our lives, all that we are and will be. Praise you Jesus. Thank you, Father. Hallelujah, Holy Spirit. We yield our whole selves to You this day, for You are the joy set before us.