Who for the Joy Set before Him Endured the Cross

As stated in Be Joyful Always, we have seen that joy arises from the Word, the Spirit and from service to Christ in building the kingdom of God. I must admit that I was truly tested before 5:00 this morning. As I sat to write at the computer, there it was; there were big red ink pen marks all over the screen. I had just picked the pen up off the floor as I sat down at the computer. Instantly, I got angry with one of my kids for writing on the screen. Later, as their mother, my wife, came down stairs to workout, I expressed my frustration to her. Her cavalier response only added fuel to the fire. Then, the moment of truth, the Spirit of God said to me, “Here is your choice to experience joy or to experience anger” Subtly, God was goading me toward that which I had been writing for nine weeks.

I just couldn’t get over the hurdle. I had to stop and pray and ask God to help me deal with my frustration and anger. After all, I told my kids to be careful with “my” computer. They had their own computer to write on, touch the screen making smudge marks, eat on to leave crumbs on, etc. I was still boiling. I said, “Lord, help me.” He said to read the Word. After looking through the remaining verses that contain the word joy, the verse slapped me in the face. It was Hebrews 12:2. It says,

“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.”

This verse is so deep, but I will just write about my opportunity to embrace and experience joy. I am called to fix my eyes on Jesus. Fix means not moveable. As consequence, God is telling me that my focus should be Jesus and not my measly thoughts, feelings or anything. If I proclaim to follow Jesus, I have no choice than to see Him as the object of my emulation. Would Jesus have been so upset? No! It says it right there in the verse – 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. It was the joy of being with the Father that provide joy for Jesus as saw the soon encroaching cross and while He was on the cross.

Again, I am not trying to provide a theological lesson other than that Jesus is our redeemer and model. On that cross, He knew that He would redeem me; therefore, He endured it with joy. In part, it was for the minutes of anger that He endured the cross. The fact that I am no longer angry after looking at Jesus attests to His redeeming power. Can you believe? I am redeemed from sin. I am free not to sin. I am free not to be bound in chains by the sin of my heart. Before Christ, I would have gone upstairs before 5:00 a.m. and woke them up with a belt as I responded out of anger. We know that is wrong. Sin begets sin. Spirit begets righteousness.

Who for the Joy Set before Him Endured the Cross is all I needed to redirect the error of my thinking this morning. Trust me, we all will face something today which angers us. We all will have the same choice to seek self (sin) or to seek God. If you are not strong in that moment, call upon the Lord. He promises to help, but you must make the right choice when He enables you to follow His will and His way. If I could do it, so can you. Consider Jesus died for us. We are really rotten to the core. We did not deserve Him to give His life for us, but He did – for the joy set before Him. Like with Jesus, the prize is always before us. We must move out of the difficult spot to accomplish the greater good. As we do, Jesus perfects our faith. This is the goal of God.


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