“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.”
See Hebrews 12:2
There are three sides to life: difficult times, mundane times, and good times. Like us, Jesus experienced all three. However, it was in the difficult times that our Savior stood out as a shining beacon. The trust in His relationship with the Father, as He faced every type of temptation and trouble you and I face, was remarkable.
Jesus knows exactly what we are going through because He went through it too! He doesn’t feel sorry for us, He empathizes! He can relate! The author of Hebrews tells us how Christ identifies with His created beings:
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)
Unlike the fake priests of Catholicism, Jesus was a real one–the real one. He faced countless trials and temptations, yet He never made a wrong choice. Therefore, He has set the example for us to do the same, and His Spirit within us, guides us!
He has made our spirits perfect, that way our actions and attitudes can match up a lot more often; but even still, when our choices and thoughts fall short of perfection, our holiness stays the same (see Hebrews 7:25, 10:10, 1 John 2:1).
In order for this rigged system to be possible, Jesus endured the Cross! Sure, He had the power to stop what the Romans were about to do to Him, but instead He decided to stay focused on what the pain would produce: spiritual perfection for all who would believe!
Through His endurance, Christ gave us the opportunity to have free righteousness. In the same way that Jesus did not deserve pain and death, because He never sinned, we would receive honor and praise, no matter how many times we’ve sinned–or will sin. His commitment to endure has made us perfect forever! Not perfect in what we do, but perfect in who we are! Don’t believe me? Just look:
“For by one offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.” (Hebrews 10:14)
One offering, that’s Jesus Christ on the Cross! Perfection for all time, that’s our spirits! Those who are sanctified, that’s all who will believe! Sanctified simply means “holy.” Holy means, “set apart.” What are we set apart from? The unbelievers. The rejectors of Christ’s forgiveness. The goats. We are the sheep! We are set apart! Jesus explains what will happen to the sheep and goats when He returns:
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.” (Matthew 25:31-33)
Just imagine it, you are the Son of God and you know it. Yet, you also know that your mission is to take on the sin of the world in your body (see 2 Corinthians 5:21)–you know full well what that involves! TREMENDOUS TORTURE, PAIN, AND DEATH! Yet you still plan on enduring this because you want to be sure humanity has the chance to enjoy heaven with you! What love is that?! AN EVERLASTING LOVE! AN UNCONDITIONAL LOVE! AN ENDURING LOVE!
This love for us caused Jesus to trust the Father during those difficult times. He was willing to do whatever it took to give everyone the opportunity to become righteous, freely. He was looking ahead, past the pain! We are called to do the same! We are called to endure! We have the same Spirit of Christ living in us, empowering us to be able to do the same! (See Luke 10:19).
So today, my friends, know this: Don’t give up on what God’s Spirit is leading you to do! You are outlasting the enemy! You are steadfast in His love! And most of all, you are being yourself. By simply being who God has made you to be in spirit, His Spirit will continue to empower you forever. You are enduring! Keep going!
A prayer for you: Heavenly Father, thank you for teaching me how to endure. Through your Spirit, you’ve taught me many things, but endurance is near the top. You’ve taught me the art of doing nothing–simply being still and waiting–this takes severe endurance. You’ve also taught me how to shake the ground like an earthquake, rattling trees and knocking over buildings–enduring, as I’ve finally stood my ground against unacceptable treatment and behavior. Thank you for revealing the power I have inside, which is Jesus! Right now, I lift up all who are reading this, directly to you. So many of them feel like they can’t endure any longer, God, they need relief! Let them know you are with them, strengthening them at this very moment! Let them know your power is made perfect in their weakness! Reveal the fact that your grace is sufficient and you are working all things together for good! THEY DO HAVE THE ABILITY TO ENDURE LIKE CHRIST! Give them wisdom in their decisions and help them stay focused on who they are inside! Every believer is a strong, loving, heaven-ready saint! We are overcomers who endure all things! In Christ’s powerful name I pray, amen.
This devotional is from 60 Days for Jesus, Volume 3. Get your copy here!