For the Joy Set Before Him

December 17, 2020

For the Joy Set Before Him – Hebrews 12:2

Bo Nelson

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 12:2

A great mystery that exist in the advent season is that Jesus would step out of heaven where He was worshipped perfectly by angels, and was in absolute union with the Father and the Spirit, and step into a world that despised and hated Him. And what makes it even more puzzling to the human mind is that He did it not begrudgingly but with joy, knowing what it would cost Him.

It was not something that was a regret, nor something that He did kicking and screaming. The text tells us that it was the JOY that was set before Him that caused Him to endure the cross and despise the shame.

The question that is provoked by this statement is what was the “joy” that was set before Jesus?

The most common interpretation of this intriguing line is that Jesus was looking at the exaltation that He would receive from the Father for accomplishing His will. It is the great declaration that “God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name… to the Glory of the Father” (Philippians 2:8-11).

When we consider the final hours of Jesus life, we can see a great submission to the will of God and a great love for sinners. In the garden of Gethsemane Jesus cried out 3 times for God to remove the cup of wrath. The response of God was deafening silence. But this did not hinder His resolve and joy, but He responded with “Not my will but your will be done” (Mark 14:32-42).

And one of His final breaths as He was being crucified was dedicated to crying out to God, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). For the joy set before Him, He did not fight against God, for the joy set before Him He did not fight against those persecuting Him, but for the joy set before Him He lovingly and joyfully endured the cross despising the shame. And now He rests, seated at the right hand of God always making intercession for those who find their ultimate joy in Him.

What an occasion to praise the Risen One, in that He would step into this world and suffer at the hands of His own creation with Joy!

Life Application

When you think of Christmas, are you reminded of what it cost Jesus to come into this world to save sinners? Does this move your soul to rejoice and praise God “who for the joy set before Him endured the cross”?


  1. Pray that this Christmas season, God will work a work in you to keep your heart and mind fixed on Christ.
  2. Pray for God to keep increasing your usefulness in preaching that Christ came to save sinners.

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December 17, 2020

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