For The Joy Set Before Him

Q. When I hear the description of the actual physical beatings, pain, etc. of Jesus it upsets me so much I try not to listen and I am crying over it. Is this wrong of me, should I continue to listen?

A. The level of pain Jesus suffered on our behalf is impossible to imagine. Most people who are familiar with the details of His ordeal are driven to tears just by thinking about it. But knowing those details helps us understand how much love it took to save us.

You don’t need to go out of your way to dwell on His suffering, but neither should you intentionally try to avoid hearing about it, even though you aren’t able to prevent yourself from tearing up. It’s important for us to remember that there was no other way we could be relieved of the penalty for our sins.

One thing that can help us understand how He could agree to this, is to get a glimpse of His perspective in the matter. Hebrews 12:3 tells us, “For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, scorning its shame.”

We don’t think of “joy” and “cross” as belonging in the same sentence. But the knowledge that He was paying the price for His bride gave Him joy, and made enduring the cross a worthwhile thing to do.

It means He had His eye on us the whole time, and when He said “It is finished” (John 19:30) He also meant “Paid in full.” We had become His forever.

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