I have heard the verse many times in my life, but sitting in church as I read the words on the screen this past week- it stirred me. “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2
…who for the joy set before him- endured the cross….
It’s no great epiphany when I say that we live in a culture drowned by instant gratification. We can look up almost anything in mere seconds with the internet, we can text and e mail others and communicate with them in a blink of an eye, make purchases that we could not otherwise make on credit cards with one swipe, and we have endless choices of food, clothing, and possessions for most of us- within a short walk or drive. I know for me personally, I HATE to wait! Patience is something I struggle with every single day!
We live in the moment.
Endure: to undergo (as a hardship) especially without giving in : to experience (pain or suffering) for a long time. ( A word that we rarely have to experience in our modern day America. )
We came home from church that same day, and decided to watch The Passion- being that Easter is next weekend. It is a movie so hard to watch, and yet one we have tried to make a priority before Easter each year. A visual reminder of what Easter is really about. The insane amount of brutal suffering that Jesus endured is astonishing! And the fact that the word Joy is used to describe His reason for the choice He made, is even greater!
How in the world can the word Joy precede the most violent and painful death of a man who had lived a life without a single sin?!
I believe it is because Jesus lived in the eternal and not in the moment. He knew that not only His own eternity would be with the Father following His death, but the eternity of all who followed Him for many years to come, also weighed on the shoulders of His decision.
As I read this verse, my heart was softened and my mind blown away, at the self- control that Jesus had to have, to go through with his death. He did not rest his mind in the moment or become impatient with the suffering and throw in the towel, but rather He looked towards His future, as He made the greatest decision that was ever made. Had Jesus denied the Father’s will, we would all be left without the choice. But because our Savior endured all the pain and suffering that was meant for us, we now get to live in- the Joy set before us!
What sacrifices do WE need to make, or better yet- Endure– along our journeys here on this Earth, for our joy set before us? May we live in the Eternal and not in the moment when it comes to decisions or opportunities to endure OUR crosses for Him!
With love- April
Philippians 3:12-14 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.