“Simply fixing our gaze upon Jesus, our Prince Leader in the faith, who will also award us the prize. He, for the sake of the joy which lay before Him, patiently endured the cross, looking with contempt upon its shame, and afterwards seated Himself– where He still sits–at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2
Jesus death on the cross was the epitome of patient endurance in extreme suffering. As we focus on Him we gain understanding as to how He did it and how we can do the same in any circumstance. He did it by keeping His eye on the prize, the joy set before Him.
He knew that no matter how bad it got, it would end in His resurrection. But honestly, I don’t think that was what got Him through. As gloriously triumphant as that would be, I don’t think that was the joy and the prize he was focused on.
He had lived in Heaven for eternity minus thirty-three years. He knew it well but He didn’t come to Earth just to live and die and go back. He came for the prize. He came for you and me. He said yes to the cross, the pain, the humiliation, all of which He despised because He knew if He did, He would win us. He loved us so much that although we were the reason He had to die, we were also the hope that got Him through it.
So now, when we face various trials, we know what to focus on in order to get through. It’s not the hope of Heaven or the resurrection. It is souls. That’s it. That’s all that mattered to Him. It was the joy set before Him and it will be what brings us joy too. I often say that Jesus loves us so much that if it were about us, we would be home with Him right now. The only reason we aren’t with Him right this minute is so we can touch the lives of the people He loves with the love He has put inside us.
There is no other reason to be on this planet except to love people on behalf of God. As His friends, how could we do any less?