Jesus endures a cross and despises the shame associated with death on a tree “for the joy that lays before Him.” What is that joy set before Him? Yes, the joy is retaking His place “at the right hand of God’s throne.” But the other joy — the crucial joy — is becoming “the source and perfecter of our faith.” Jesus “endures such hostility from sinners against Himself” in order to save us from sin and from the wage of sin, that is — death. (Hebrews 12:3)
Because Jesus endures such pain and hostility in order to experience the joy of saving His people, we must “keep our eyes on Jesus” and “run with endurance the race that lies before us.” (Hebrews 12:2,1) As He keeps the joy in sight while He suffers on a cross, so we must keep the joy of being in Him in sight as we endure the troubles associated with life on earth. “In struggling against sin, [we] have not yet resisted to the point of shedding [our] blood” — that is true of many, if not most of us. (Hebrews 12:4)
“Just one thing: [we ought to] live [our] lives in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ…standing firm in one spirit, with one mind, working side by side for the faith that comes from the gospel, not being frightened in any way… For it has been given to [us] on Christ’s behalf not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for Him.” (Philippians 1:27, 28, 29)
He is the source of our faith; and He perfects it. Amen.