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. Hebrews 12:2.
The work of Christ upon earth was to seek and save that which was lost. Ever before Him He saw the result of His mission, although the baptism of blood must first be received, although the weight of sins of the world was to gather upon His innocent soul, although the shadow of an unspeakable woe was ever over Him. Yet for the joy that was set before Him, He endured the cross and despised the shame. He endured all this that sinful man might be saved, that he might be elevated and ennobled and have a place with Him upon His throne.
Christ is the originator of divine truth. He knew the height and depth, length and breadth and fullness of the compassion of divine love, as no mortal man can know it. He knows the blessedness that sinners are refusing when they reject divine light, the horrors that will come upon the soul that refuses the truth of Heaven. . . . Christ alone knows what means the exceeding weight of glory which those who rebel against God refuse to receive. . . .
Men are contaminated with sin, and they cannot have an adequate conception of the heinous character of the evil which they cherish. Because of sin the Majesty of heaven was stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. Voluntarily our divine Substitute bared His soul to the sword of justice, that we might not perish but have everlasting life. Said Christ: “I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself” (John 10:17, 18). . . . No man of earth nor angel of heaven could have paid the penalty of sin. Jesus was the only one who could save rebellious man.
The joy that was set before Jesus was that of seeing souls redeemed by the sacrifice of His glory, His honor, His riches, and His own life. The salvation of man was His joy. When all the redeemed shall be gathered into the kingdom of God, He will see of the travail of His soul and be satisfied.
That I May Know Him p. 368
—–This morning my dad will be having a few different scans to see where all his cancer is. Then he will see his oncologist in the afternoon. It will be a long & exhausting day for the both of us. Please keep us in your prayers. He gets very anxious, angry & has a lot of pain when he has to have the scans done. This will be really hard on him. Jami
When I was in my late teens, my friend Roberta would often invite me over to her house after church. I always looked forward to these times because we would have so much fun together. Roberta lived about fifteen miles from Kalamazoo and I didn’t have a car, so many times I would stay until Terry, her boyfriend, was ready to go home.
Unfortunately, that was often very late. One particular time, Terry stayed until three o’clock in the morning. Time had flown by and it didn’t seem that late because we were having so much fun. When we got in the car, however, we wished we would have left earlier. Dense fog blanketed the area. The fog was so thick that Terry could not see past the hood of his car. With the bravado of any twenty-two year old, he declared that he knew the road so well that he didn’t need to see! I saw through his pretense of courage. Fingers of fear crept over me.
Instead of inching along, Terry drove about twenty-five or thirty miles per hour. That was way too fast for the curvy road we were on. I gripped the seat and stared into the sheet of white made by his headlights reflecting on the fog. Praying that we would stay on the road and not hit any other car that might be foolish enough to be out in zero-visibility weather, I stayed on edge until we finally made it to town. By the time we got into the city, the fog had disappeared.
How often we feel like we are enveloped in as thick a cloud spiritually as we were that night physically. We grope about and cannot see the narrow path clearly. We long for the closeness and fellowship with our Great Creator. It seems as if every nerve and muscle is stretched to the limit. Our sins are as enemies that loom up to crush us. We exclaim as did David, “For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.” Psalm 38:4 The evil one whispers in our ear, “You might as well give up.”
Yet, we must not give up. In those times when we feel so far away from God, we are not left alone to suffer the buffetings of the enemy. Our Loving Saviour is beside us. He longs for that close fellowship with us even more than we do. He whispers to us, “I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” Jer 31:3 “Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour.” Isa 43:1-3
Think of it! The Great Creator of the Universe loves us so much that He sent His only begotten Son to redeem us from the hand of the enemy. He is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life!” John 14:6 He is our only Hope! He is our Mighty Deliverer! We can get the help that we need from the One Who gave His Life for us. Isaiah speaks of his experience, “Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.” Isa 38:17 John assures us, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 Micah agrees, “thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” Micah 7:19 We can say as did David, “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” Ps 103:12
May we find our hope and deliverance in the One Who redeemed us even when the fog of sin threatens to envelope us. May we sing praises to His Holy Name no matter what may be transpiring around us. May we point others to Jesus that they, too, may escape the thick clouds of sin that envelope them is my prayer.