“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.
The writer of Hebrews tells us that Christ endured the cross and the shame for the “joy that was set before him.” He knew what God’s plan was for his life. He knew that he would have to endure the suffering and shame of the cross. Yet he chose to follow God’s plan. Because of his trust and obedience to His heavenly Father, Christ was able to go to the cross. But he also did for the joy which would be his. He suffered for the joy of being seated at the right hand of the Father, and he suffered for the greatest joy of all —- saving you and I.
He suffered for the joy of imparting His righteousness to you and I; for giving us a mansion in heaven, or as C. H. Spurgeon says, “ for the joy of finding mansions in heaven for homeless souls.”
If Christ can endure the shame, suffering, and agony of the cross for our homeless souls, shouldn’t we be able to endure suffering for His sake?
Yet send even a little suffering our way and God will find us crying out for relief. He will find us praying, “It is too much, Lord!” or “It is not fair, God!” Our suffering in this world pales in comparison to him who was “tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.”
This Easter season, take a fresh look at the cross. Stand there at the feet of your suffering Savior and worship Him anew. Marvel at His great love for you.
Do not turn away from His suffering, for it is that suffering that you were healed. Worship Jesus Christ, your Savior and pray as William Gadsby did,
Now, for the love I bear His Name,
What was my gain I count my loss;
My former pride I call my shame,
And nail my glory to His cross.
Grant, O Lord, that in your wounds I may find my safety, in your stripes my cure, in your pain my peace, in your cross my victory, in your resurrection my triumph, and a crown of righteousness in the glories of your eternal kingdom.
Jeremy Taylor, in The Westminster Collection of Christian Prayers, compiled by Dorothy M. Stewart