18 Dec The Joy Set Before Him by Erin Velasquez
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3
“For the joy set before Him!”? What?!!
As a child. I never understood this verse. I was always so confused at how Jesus had any joy in the cross. I have to laugh at my misunderstanding now. Of course, Jesus did not have joy in the fact He knew He was about to endure the worst pain He had ever experienced. I was missing the little phrase, “set before Him”. I don’t know if you’ve ever run a race, but the word easy doesn’t come to my mind. We know that “in this world there will be trouble.” Remembering the joy of the “why” is what kept Jesus going, and can keep us going too.
There is more good news in this passage of which I’m reminded. We can throw off everything that hinders, and the sin that so easily entangles. Previously, when I’ve read that phrase, I’ve just read the word sin and thought, “Okay, got it. Sin=Bad.” But actually, it is composed of two parts. The first thing it says is to throw off are things that hinder. I love the imagery of someone starting to run, and as they look ahead at our sweet Savior, they are flinging off everything that is holding them back from reaching Him. These things are probably not sinful because sinful things are mentioned specifically in the very next phrase. So, it helps me understand that there are “good” things that can still hinder the performance of my race.
My prayer today is that God will remind us of the why we are doing the things we are doing. Let’s ask God to help us release the things, good or bad, slowing us down from running our race swiftly and efficiently for Him.