“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame…” (from Hebrews 12:2)
Today, I wanted to follow up on the subject of reflecting upon Good Friday…
We really need to see Jesus’ focus in going through the ordeal of His last day – and the torment of the cross. The Bible tells us that it was for the “JOY set before Him,” He “endured the cross, scorning its shame.” Sometimes we can get the feeling that what Jesus did for us was out of some sense of pity, or duty, or obligation. The world was a mess. People were lost and misguided. And God wanted to do something about these things – so Jesus had to come to make the way to make things right.
But this was not something that God had to do… sending Jesus was something He wanted to do. His sole motivation was love! “For God so loved the world… He gave His One and Only Son…” (John 3:16a)
We mentioned, yesterday, that Jesus could have ended His ordeal at any time. Call for angels… twelve legions would show up… ordeal over. But the result of that call would be devastating for us. We would still be a mess. We would still be lost and misguided. We would have NO hope for restoration – no possibility for any kind of life beyond our slavery to sin and selfishness.
But Jesus remained faithful to His task. And the reason He did was… joy!
The answer reveals the depths of God’s Heart for each of us. Throughout the ordeal of Jesus’ last day He had a picture in Mind. The picture was of you and me – stepping out of the prison cells of our sin and slavery, and back into the light of freedom. Back to WHY we were created in the first place. Back to abundance of living. Back to the wonder and unimaginable peace of real relationship with our Creator. Back to the purpose we were each designed to fulfill. Restored completely, back to what we were created to be: the visible representatives of the invisible God!
Fully liberated. Fully divlivered from every chain and bondage. Fully enabled to live as we were designed to live.
Through every single moment, through every ounce of excruciating pain, through every disappointment, through every second of sorrow, suffering and shame… Jesus could see you and me – and joy welled up inside of Him. Joy in the victory that He was about to secure for each and every one of us – for all of time.
Jesus thought that victory was worth every bit of His suffering. He thought WE were worth every every millisecond of His misery.
He proved it by enduring that final day in the fullness of the joy set before Him!
Prayer focus: God, help me daily, to lay hold of the victory that Jesus secured for me, in His joy!