For the joy that lay before Him, He endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2
It’s Wednesday…not just Wednesday but Wednesday as in two days before you die. Not just die, but die what the Romans called the death of deaths. Not just die, but die a death so horrible it was outlawed for Roman citizens. So, if you knew Friday was coming, what would your Wednesday be like? What would your attitude be like?
The scriptures don’t actually say, “On Wednesday before Jesus died on Friday Jesus got up and did this or that.” We do know this. His actions were not dominated or determined by dread or fear. His actions were governed by His desire to please His Father and driven by His love for us. He wanted to please the Father and He wanted to save us. Let that soak in. He wanted to save us.
Jesus knew the full awfulness of the cross. He understood the awfulness of experiencing the wrath of His Father for our sins. In John 12:27-28, He says, “Now My soul is troubled. What should I say—Father, save Me from this hour? But that is why I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.” He understood that if He was rescued there could not be a rescue or redemption for us and without redemption, you and I are burnt toast.
So, what did He do? The author of Hebrews gives us a glimpse. He says, “For the joy that lay before Him, He endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Do you see it? “For the joy that lay before Him, He endured the cross…” Jesus handled the awfulness of the cross by looking beyond the awfulness to a time when He would be returned to His rightful place in heaven right beside His Father. He handled the present by looking to eternity.
That is really good advice for these days—actually, for any day. We can be shortsighted and only see the craziness around us or we can look toward better days. Now I want you to track with me. Many of those better days we dreamed about last year are already here. Last year we mourned that we couldn’t worship together on Palm Sunday and Easter. Last Sunday we did and this Sunday, Lord willing, we will. Yay. Last year we were longing to minister and serve others as a church family. This year we are or at least we can. And just like these things came to pass, so will the others. We will have jobs again. We will have family parties again. The Cubs will win the series again. Well, let’s not stretch it. But you get the idea.
And by the way, one day, if we place our faith in Christ, we will have a reserved seat in the longest, greatest celebration of all–heaven. None of the earth junk will be there. In fact, according to Revelation 21:4 “He [God] will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain will be no more, because the previous things have passed away.” Wow–no grief, crying, pain, or death. No funeral homes, nursing homes, hospitals, prisons, fear or any number of things that give us gray hair or no hair.
So, some of the better days are here and many more are coming–some sooner–some later. And the same thing that got Jesus through can help us get through–the joy set before us. We learned in a message recently that Biblical joy can be defined as “a deep sense of well-being based on our faith in God and trust in His sovereign will.”
As we trust Him the fear fades, the sun rises, and we can face today, and tomorrow. In fact, we not only can face it–we can embrace it with the confident assurance He is in control. Knowing that–rest in Him. He’s got this. Bro. Dewayne