“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)
God’s people are often ridiculed and insulted. Even Jesus Christ, during His earthly life, was treated shamefully. He knew that this was going to happen, and He warned His disciples for it (see Luke 18:32). Many people despised His teachings. The Pharisees insulted Him deeply by suggesting that He was possessed by demons. After about three years of ministry, Jesus was arrested as a criminal. He was beaten, spit upon and crucified. He was mocked by Roman soldiers, by robbers who were crucified with Him, by chief priests, scribes and elders. While being the Son of God who was in a glorious position at the Father’s right hand before the world existed, He endured the suffering and the shame of the cross “for the joy that was set before Him”.
What was this joy? Let’s read Jesus’ own words when praying to God the Father: “I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, may be with Me where I am, to see My glory that You have given Me because You loved Me before the foundation of the world” (John 17:24). So, Jesus endured all this in order to reconcile sinners with their Creator and bring them “home” to heaven!
Thank you, Jesus, that you wanted to endure so much shame in order to save us!