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 12:2
I love what this verse has to say. Jesus is the founder and perfecter of our faith, who endured the cross, despised the shame, and now sits at the right hand of God the Father. This verse amazes me every time I read it.
Jesus didn’t just experience shame, he despised it. But why? He could’ve come to earth as God (which he totally was and is), but he chose to come as a despised servant instead. He could’ve chosen the temporal joy that the world offered him yet he chose the shame and pain. Why though?
Why would Christ, the God of the whole world, who has complete control of everything, decide to make himself human? Why would he become a servant when in the blink of an eye he could make every man on earth his servant?
He was God, he is God. Yet, he chose to live a life on earth and become tormented, despised, and hung on a cross.
He Did it For Us
Christ did it all for us. Jesus didn’t focus on the pain. He didn’t dwell on the torment that affected him, especially physically, but also emotionally and spiritually.
When Jesus made himself a servant and took on human flesh, he didn’t feel sorry for himself. He didn’t dwell on the fact that he was ultimately going to die one of the most cruel deaths.
He saw past the pain. He chose to look further than the gruel torment he experienced in the moment. He focused on the future and what would ultimately be accomplished through his death.
And he did it all for us.
Jesus courageously, obediently, and patiently endured the cross because he knew what would ultimately be accomplished for us through his death.
To Free us From Our Sin
Through Christ’s painful death, he made it possible for us to be free from our sin. Because Jesus selflessly made himself a servant, because he sacrificed his life, we can live!
This is why I’m always amazed when I read that verse, it reminds me that when I take a few moments to look to Jesus, to think about what great sacrifices he made–and who he made them for–I get to see once again how great it is for us to be freed from sin.
Without Jesus’ sacrifice, without his death, we would still be lost. Chained to sin without hope of ever being freed. But Jesus endured the pain and torment for us. We can jump in the air and get excited about this because we’re not without hope!
Get Excited About the Hope you Have!
No matter what you’re going through, you can look to Jesus and what he did for you, and you can find hope in that. You can rejoice because Jesus didn’t settle for the short-term joy. You can rejoice because he didn’t submit under pressure to the fleeting pleasures this world offered him. He endured, and he did it all for you!
If you believe this about Jesus, and if your faith is in the Lord, you have hope. Hope in eternal life. You have a hope so powerful that nothing can ever overtake it.
This is something we can get excited about, and we should do something about it. Let’s make ourselves servants and let’s look to the example that Jesus set for us. Let’s despise the shame of being Christians in this world.
Let’s make this gospel the biggest part of our lives, and especially endure any hardships or difficulties we face because one day we’ll spend eternity with Jesus in his glory!