We must focus on Jesus, the source and goal of our faith. He saw the joy ahead of him, so he endured death on the cross and ignored the disgrace it brought him. [Hebrews 12:2 GW]
The spikes ripped through his hands and his feet. The pain was excruciating. The shame unbearable. Every part of his body shook with agony. Thoughts of despair captured his mind. He was fully human and experienced torture as one of us. Yet he saw the joy beyond the cross. He saw resurrection.
Unlike the thieves who flanked him on each side, Jesus transcended pain. And shame. And agony. And despair. These things could not lay hold of him. As he hung on the cross he forgave. He blessed. He gave us an example to follow in difficult times. His inner eyes were fixed on a resurrection from death.
Jesus turned evil inside out that first Good Friday. He had an inner vision of joy that caused him to endure death. Overcome shame. Perhaps this vision of joy could do the same for us in hard times? Maybe life is all about embracing joy? And in the end, seeing joy is all about seeing our resurrection.
Dear Jesus. Help us to embrace the joy that is ahead of us when we endure hard times.
... this devotion is part of a series on the book of Hebrews.