The Joy of the Cross Hebrews 12:2
Words do not have the capacity to communicate the suffering Christ experienced as He died for our sins. The loneliness of the cross was terrible. Jesus was forsaken by His friends. In the midst of His agony, He felt forsaken by God and cried out, “My God, my God, why have thou forsaken me?”
A part of our Lord’s motive for enduring the agony of the cross was for “the joy that was set before him”. Is it possible that one could endure such agony, such loneliness, such shame, such horror, and yet experience joy in doing so? YES.
There were at least three joys that led Jesus Christ to the cross.
1. The Joy of Glorifying God – In his great prayer, Jesus prayed, “Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee” (John 17:1). To glorify means to “make known.” Jesus came to the earth to make known the nature, character, and purpose of God.
2. The Joy Of The Highest Possible Personal Achievement – Satan offered Him the kingdom of this world if He would but fall down and worship him. The heart of this temptation was a suggested escape from the cross and a convenient, inexpensive way to win the kingdoms of this world for God. Jesus rejected this suggestion and endured the cross because there was no other way to save people.
3. The Joy Of Saving Souls – Jesus endured the cross to experience the joy of saving us from sin – We were slaves, and he came to set us free – We were guilty, and he came to cleanse us. He gives new life, eternal life, spiritual life, and divine life. The joy of rendering the highest possible service to us and meeting the deepest need of our hearts and lives was a part of the joy that led Jesus to suffer the agony of the cross. Let His death on the cross be your death to sin. Let His example challenge you to give your life completely to the divine plan. Determine to live so as to glorify God in your daily life that others might come to your Savior and be saved by his death on the cross and be transformed by his living presen