March 29, 2024

For Joy, Jesus Endured

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“… let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESV)


It comes as a whisper. A spoken thought in the crowd. What to do with this man who claims to be King? Two words resound, swim through the sound waves to consume the sea of people gathered:

“Crucify him” (Mark 15:13-14, ESV).

Octaves rise, and tempers boil. This man with gentle eyes claims to be the Messiah. He promises to save Israel, to lead His people. But He has not given the masses the change they believed was coming. Instead, He speaks of living water (John 7:38) and a narrow gate to a wide-open eternity (Matthew 7:13-14). He preaches about loving neighbors and turning the other cheek (Matthew 5:38-40).

The religious leaders won’t have it, and with a resigned sigh, Pilate acquiesces to the crowd’s demand. Jesus is sentenced to die.

The convicted Comforter is led away, and soldiers flog and mock Him. A twisted crown of thorns. A scarlet robe. Sneers of, “Hail, king of the Jews!” (Matthew 27:29c, ESV).

And then the cross. To “crucify” means to put to death by nailing or binding the hands and feet to a cross. It means to destroy the power and dignity of the condemned, to mortify, to treat cruelly. They beat nails into Jesus’ skin, strap Him to pieces of wood. They tell Him that if He is truly the Son of God, He will get Himself off of that cross (Matthew 27:39-43).

But the Son stays silent, His breathing ragged, labored. He hangs — not to prove a point or amaze the crowds. He hangs for joy.

What joy is there in jeers, bruises and abandonment? What kind of love compels Jesus to stay on that terrible cross?

A love that endures.



Read the rest over at Proverbs 31 to understand more of how Jesus gives us joy through what He endured.

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