“Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for thejoy 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 am so excited to share with you all what God has shown me!!! I mean it’s that kind of good that you just can’t keep to yourself!!!
I’m not real big on cherry picking scripture but sometimes when I’m studying, it’s like the Holy Spirit takes a highlighter and just highlights a word or phrase and I absolutely can’t stop thinking about it!!
That’s how it’s been with this verse for the past few weeks but I wanted to talk to my pastor before I wrote this post.
Over and over again, it keeps coming to my mind, “who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross”…That portion of scripture just keeps coming back to me.
the joy that was set before him….
Y’all I’m sure this isn’t news to a lot of people.
If you’re even remotely familiar with Christianity then I know you’ve heard about the love of Jesus. We’ve heard it so much that sometimes I think it’s lost it’s affect but sometimes God wakes us up and let’s us see it anew!!!
the joy that was set before him….
A Roman cross was the most horrific and shameful death imaginable and it was reserved for the vilest of criminals.
When the Romans crucified someone, they scourged them first. Y’all this wasn’t simply a beating. This was the stripping of flesh from the body with bits of glass tied to strips of leather. Jesus went to the cross with huge, open wounds. He was sweating. Think about all the salt in sweat. That’s what was in those wounds.
On top of all of that salty sweat in those open wounds, He carried a rough, splintery cross. Y’all know that cross was digging into to all that muscle that was laid bare.
This was the preliminary event of the cross.
Death on a Roman cross
This death was so shameful because it was so public. Imagine having your flesh stripped from your body and hanging on rough wood. Think about it for just a minute. Now imagine doing it naked, hoisted high off the ground and put on display in front of a crowd so they could watch you writhe in pain on a cross.
The Romans were so cruel that an excruciating death wasn’t enough.
They had to add insult to injury by adding utter humiliation to the mix.
But the humiliation wasn’t what caused the death…
Suffocation and a heart attack was.
See when a persons arms are stretched wide like they are during crucifixion, the lungs stay an expanded state making it impossible to exhale. In order to take a breath, the one being crucified would have to push up on their legs (which were bent at a 45 degree angle ) and when this happened, the bones of the feet would grind against the nails driven through them. The thigh muscles would quickly exhaust and begin to cramp because of the angle the legs are bent when the feet are nailed to the cross. When the thigh muscles could no longer support the one being crucified, they would drop back down and start suffocating again. This happened over and over and death could be drug out for days. Naked. With flies.
Y’all Jesus didn’t just die for us. He willingly went to the cross. He willingly endured the most torturous, excruciating, and humiliating death imaginable during that time (or any time for that matter)…for the joy that was set before him….
So what was the joy that was set before him?
Us!!! We are the joy that was set before him!!!
I am overwhelmed even writing this at the thoughts that Jesus, who had everything, wanted us so bad that he endured that. That we are his joy.
Y’all he did that because he loves us so much and wants us so much that he counted us joy!!! He was so unwilling to give us up, that he went to the cross. He could have come down off that cross. He could have evaded the Roman soldiers in the first place…but he didn’t.
He went to the cross.
He suffered that death.
Because we are his joy. Our reconciliation to God is his joy.
He wants us for all time and forever.
He knew it was impossible for us to pay for our own sin but he was so unwilling to give us up and found so much joy in knowing we would be able to be with him forever that he smothered to death with splinters and salt in his open wounds.
How anyone can find this love offensive, I’ll never know.
We are the joy that was set before him.
We are why he endured the cross.
Y’all God more than loves us. I don’t even think our minds can truly comprehend that much love.
Hey y’all, I’m Heather!!! I’m a sassy, southern Jesus lover who is on a journey of faith and wellness. I love nature, mason jars, sackcloth quilts, flannel, and coffee. I love to make wooden signs, read, and decorate. I workout because I have to. My hashtag should be #iwouldratherbesleeping.