For the Joy That Was Set Before Him

Heb.12:2 is a jam-packed verse we need to unfold briefly today in light of Christmas. In the KJV, it states:

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; 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.”

In the NIV, the words to describe “author and finisher” are “pioneer and perfector”. I thought the word “pioneer” was interesting. It makes me think of those like Lewis and Clark, Neil Armstrong, or Harriet Tutman. These were people who, because of their passion, braved incredible odds to accomplish what they had in their hearts to do. Jesus was also like them, in that he blazed the trail for those who believe in Him, to join Him someday in Heaven, with the Father.

I don’t know about you, but dying on a cross doesn’t seem very joyful. Remember how He agonized in the garden? How He begged God to remove His physical burden of impending death? He wasn’t only looking at His eventual death. But, he was looking for that time when He would return to the Father, and sit down at God’s right hand.

Isn’t it interesting that during this Advent season, we focus on hope, joy, love, and peace? The latter three attributes are the first three fruits of the Spirit, mentioned in Gal. [5:22]-23. Hm, makes you wonder, doesn’t it?Just think of it, we can take a horrible event, and turn it around to display the joy we have because we’ve trusted in God’s only Son, who was born to give us this joy, and abundant life, John [10:10]

We can truly sing that little chorus we did as kids in Sunday School-“I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart

Down in my heart-down in my heart

I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart

Down in my heart to stay.”

Let’s remember the joy Jesus gazed upon as He faced death. We might, too. But, isn’t it good to know we’ll also be with the Father someday?

Lord thank You for reminding us that it was the joy that Jesus looked for of being with You again. Thank You He came as a babe, to be like us, human, and yet, fully holy. Help us to spread this joy this Christmas season. May the fruit of love, joy, and peace permeate our words and actions. We love You. In Your Precious Name we pray, Amen!

Olivia Ostergaard