The Joy That Would Follow His Shame

Glenn Addington By Glenn Addington, 14th Nov 2017 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Religion

"...endured the cross, despising the shame" could be confusing. Here is an explanation.

Introducing the scripture: Hebrews 12:1-1

Hebrews 12:1-2 says, “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Hebrews 12:1 explained

This passage begins with a word of encouragement to the believer, reminding him that many have been on the journey before and have been triumphant. These are described as if in a giant arena, looking down on us and cheering us on to victory. With this in mind, the challenge is to forsake the sin we allow to hinder or cripple us and to pursue the Christian life with perseverance. Rather than allowing ourselves to be constantly distracted by the adversities of life, or whatever else is so quick to capture our attention, we are to focus our eyes on Jesus and what He did so as to accomplish our salvation.

"the shame" explained

. But the phrase “for the joy set before Him” could easily be a confusing one. There would be no joy in enduring the cross. It was the cruelest form of death devised by mankind up until that time. Those familiar with the gospels remember that Jesus prayed, “ …if it be Your will, remove this cup from me.” His agony as He faced this situation in prayer is described in Luke 22:42-44.
“Despising the shame” speaks of many things. The shame of being treated as He was is indescribable. Shame and humiliation were in the minds of those doing the crucifixion, so the criminal or victim was often crucified naked. But there was another kind of shame which the Jewish leaders hoped to heap on Him – that of crucifixion. Deuteronomy 21:22-23 says "If a man has committed a sin worthy of death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, his corpse shall not hang all night on the tree, but you shall surely bury him on the same day (for he who is hanged is accursed of God).” The hope of the Jewish leaders who cried out “Crucify Him” was that the people would remember these verses and would consider Jesus as cursed by God, which would certainly cause Him to be quickly forgotten.

What is meant by "the joy set before Him?"

But what is meant by the phrase ‘for the joy set before Him’? Jesus said in John 10, “"For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again.” He emphasized the fact that no one would take His life, but that He would lay it down willingly. In the Isaiah 53 passage, we read these words:
“If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.” To render Himself as a guilt offering would be to allow Himself to be put to death. But the next phrase can only speak of His resurrection. How could He possibly see His offspring if He is dead? The next verse confirms this thought. Isaiah 53:11 says, "As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, As He will bear their iniquities."
Starting near the end of the verse, we are told that He would justify the many by bearing their iniquities. The “anguish of His soul” would among other things be the separation from God the Father because of bearing the guilt of the sin of all mankind. We hear this when Jesus cries out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” After His resurrection, He would see the result of His action on the cross and be satisfied that He had accomplished the Father’s will in redeeming mankind. The next passage continues to describe His death so that He might redeem sinful mankind.
“He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the transgressors.” There are several thoughts here in this sentence. The first plainly speaks of His willingness to be put to death, which He stated in John 10.17b – 18. “ I lay down My life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father." He was crucified between two criminals, according to the next phrase. But this was not for His own sins, but for the sin of many – all who have transgressed the law of God. He interceded for the transgressors – crying out,” Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” While this was a verbal intercession, His atoning death on the cross was also an intercession for ALL transgressors.
The ‘joy set before Him’ was His accomplishment of God’s plan of redemption, that mankind could be reconciled to God, no longer being considered as hostile to God, or enemies of God, thus being subject to the wrath of God. II Corinthians 5:21 says “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

The phrases summarized

The shame: the cross and His crucifixion.
The joy: saving sinful mankind, accomplishing the Father’s plan of reconciliation and redemption. Also, the future event spoken of in John 14, that He would go and prepare a place for His followers, so that they could someday be with Him in eternity.
This is the hope shared by all believers - to be in the presence of God the Father and our Savior Jesus Christ forever.


Communion Thoughts, Curse Of Crucifixion, Hebrews 12 2 Eucharist Meditation, Jesus Crucifixion, Victory Over His Enemies Intent

Meet the author

author avatar Glenn Addington
I am an American, former Viet Nam veteran, and a Christian, living in East Tennessee. I am now retired and am pursuing a writing career. I would welcome writing assignments.

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