The Last Week of Jesus Life Part 38
Of all the verses we have discussed is this study, the one least discussed by the advocates of denial who teach Christ did not want to die, is Hebrews 12:2. It reads: “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” There are key words that must be either denied or misunderstood for good men to dis-believe the intent of Christ intending to die!!
The first word will be “joy.” Usually, the word joy brings delight and encouragement. This word in the Greek language is the word “chara.” It means joy and gladness but further restricts this to the persons who are one’s joy. We are the purpose for Christ to have joy. He was intent on bringing to pass what He had had in preparation for the past 6,000 years. The author, chief, leader of Christianity was given an army. With this army, He was to take over and make over humanity. What had been so disadvantageous about mankind was his continual movement in the wrong direction, away from God. Christ was to bring into existence the army that would head in the opposite direction!! We would change the destiny of millions by the gospel we would be given to proclaim. No other institution had ever been given this charge. The Church of Christ is and was always in the mind of God as the defender of God’s love. “God, so loved the world.” John 3:16 There had to be something, someone, or some reason God would love. Until now, that was conspiculously absent from our race. Going away from God seemed to be the way the river of humanity was running. Things had gotten so bad that man had committed acts of treason against his very own flesh. Surely, something had to make some sense as to why God loved!! All the prophesies, all the sacrifices, all the teaching and instruction had to have a finality. Something had to make sense!! As consistent as God, the consistency of His message to mankind was, man had to change. Man, himself could not bring this about, angels were not offered the opportunity, so what did God have in mind by sending His Son!! When His Son came, mankind for whom He was coming flatly rejected Him. Christ had come healing the sick. One would have thought that sufficient to produce love, but it had not been. Christ came serving mankind, unlike John the Baptizer, Jesus had come and had been socially acceptable; but that had not changed man. If nothing else, it had seemed to make things worse!! No Jew had tried to kill John!! With superior wisdom, Christ had fed the hungry, raised the dead, made the deaf, hear, defended the righteous, showed kindness to little children, and comforted the mourners. All these things had had their appeal, but all put together they had not made man “take their shoes off their feet” in His presence. It had even been recorded that one of His closest disciples had had talks with His frantic enemies making arrangements to set a trap for His arrest. Yet, Christ was looking for “joy.” He knew that among mankind there were people like that for which He would die; He knew that His creation had not gone that far toward evil that some of us were worth saving and He was willing to sacrifice His life to prove His creation was better than what it seemed. He had born the opposition of those who were professed sinners and those who professed self-justification and righteousness. What was in this species called humanity He saw that we could not, see? He had heard their rants against His Holiness, God, the Father. He had recognized that one tremendous lacking in humanity was appreciation, yet onward He kept moving toward the cross—mind you- with ‘JOY.’
He “endured” the cross. This word, endure means He was not to recede, flee, or change. It is the Greek word hupemeno and describes what Christ had on His mind when He considered the cross of Calvary. Included in the definition of this word is the fact that He bore bravely and calmly. All His time among man, He never heard man profess openly, “this man loved Me.” His last interview with Simon Peter is a heart-breaker if you expect to find Simon openly, unabashedly declaring “Christ, I love You.”!! Anticipating and knowing the difference His obedient would bring into this world when He and the Holy Spirit had an opportunity to make over they who would serve Him, what the world had never had the pleasure of having a plethora of, Christ NEVER one time backed off His continuous journey to make US possible, never deterred from His mission of going to the cross!! His love was not lip service, He loved all the way to Calvary. If you can’t appreciate this, don’t deny Him this love!