“. . .Who, for the joy that was set before Him, endured the Cross, despising the shame and is set down at the right Hand of the Throne of God.”
Singular focus will result in inward joy, renewed joy and strength.
That which “awaits us” is always better than that “which is.” It’s no accident the anonymous author of Hebrews talked about the “two immutable things of God” and “an Anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast” in his words of exhortation and admonition to the struggling recipients of his letter (Heb. 6:17-20).
He knew they were about to “go down for the count” (Heb. 6:1-8) because of mounting persecution; yet, he reminded them that he was convinced they wouldn’t give up or give in (v.9). And, neither would “God forget their work and labor of love which they’d showed toward His Name in their ministering to the saints” (v.10).
And neither will He forget ours.
Isn’t that something we also need to remember today? Most assuredly so. Hallelujah!!
Yes, dear, fellow, struggling saint of God, our God “Who changes not and gives not even the slightest hint that He will ever change” (James 1:17) is “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Heb. 13:5b). Therefore, “look unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of your faith” (Heb. 12:2a) and keep on looking.
This “steadfast fixing of your soul’s eyes” upon Him will help you to also understand the meaning of today’s Manna. His suffering was real, as is ours. Pity those who preach (and believe) the false gospel of “health, wealth and prosperity”—for such is a contradiction of the Gospel of Christ.
Having no place to lay your head wasn’t wealthy. Crucifixion wasn’t healthy. And, being despised and rejected doesn’t sound too much like ad-copy for prosperity. But, Jesus experienced it all “for the joy that was set before Him.” Interestingly, the same Greek word “prokeimai” used in today’s Manna for “set” is the same one used in v.1c for “the race that is set before us.”
Our omniscient Heavenly Father knew what His dearly, beloved Son would go through here on earth from “the womb to the tomb” BEFORE He came to earth. Yet, He “endured” (Grk. “hupomeno”—“to stay underneath the load, remain, undergo, take patiently, etc.”) it all “for the joy that was set before Him.”
And, what was that “joy”?
Simply knowing His death on the Cross would satisfy the Law’s demands and free us “from the curses of the Adamic nature, the Law and death” (Gal. 3:10-14; Rom. 3:23; 5:6-11; 6:23; Eph. 2:8-10). Like the marathon runner who’s “hit the wall” at the 20-21 mile mark. . .and knows the last few miles will be sheer agony. . .He willed Himself to “endure the Cross and despise the shame because of the joy that was set before Him”. . .knowing His suffering and subsequent resurrection three days later would also give us “joy for the Journey.” Glory!!