For Joy, Jesus Endured - Encouragement for Today - March 29, 2024

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Sarah FreymuthMarch 29, 2024

For Joy, Jesus Endured

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“… let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESV)

Editor’s Note: Today’s devotion is part of a special series for Holy Week! From March 24 (Palm Sunday) to March 31 (Easter Sunday), each devotion will focus on the events leading up to Jesus’ resurrection. We pray these words will prepare your heart and mind for the celebration of our risen Savior.

It comes as a whisper. A spoken thought in the crowd. What to do with this man who claims to be King? Two words resound, swim through the sound waves to consume the sea of people gathered:

“Crucify him” (Mark 15:13-14, ESV).

Octaves rise, and tempers boil. This man with gentle eyes claims to be the Messiah. He promises to save Israel, to lead His people. But He has not given the masses the change they believed was coming. Instead, He speaks of living water (John 7:38) and a narrow gate to a wide-open eternity (Matthew 7:13-14). He preaches about loving neighbors and turning the other cheek (Matthew 5:38-40).

The religious leaders won’t have it, and with a resigned sigh, Pilate acquiesces to the crowd's demand. Jesus is sentenced to die.

The convicted Comforter is led away, and soldiers flog and mock Him. A twisted crown of thorns. A scarlet robe. Sneers of, “Hail, king of the Jews!” (Matthew 27:29c, ESV).

And then the cross. To “crucify” means to put to death by nailing or binding the hands and feet to a cross. It means to destroy the power and dignity of the condemned, to mortify, to treat cruelly. They beat nails into Jesus' skin, strap Him to pieces of wood. They tell Him that if He is truly the Son of God, He will get Himself off of that cross (Matthew 27:39-43).

But the Son stays silent, His breathing ragged, labored. He hangs — not to prove a point or amaze the crowds. He hangs for joy.

What joy is there in jeers, bruises and abandonment? What kind of love compels Jesus to stay on that terrible cross?

A love that endures.

“… Jesus [is] the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).

For the joy set before Him, He endured pain, humiliation and solitude because He knew that through His sacrifice, we could have life with God forever. Jesus hung for us, to pay the price for everything we’ve done wrong or will ever do wrong. He took the punishment we deserve, experiencing anguish like we have never known and will never know if we trust in Him for salvation. In Christ, we have right standing with God once and for all.

Jesus’ love compelled Him to endure the cross and empowers us to endure our own difficult situations. Our Savior sympathizes with us because He has gone through suffering and death and has come out on the other side. We, too, have an assured hope of coming out on the other side because Jesus has already gone before us.

Imagine this moment: Jesus lifts His eyes to heaven, breathing shallowly. With the air left in His lungs, He releases His spirit (Matthew 27:50). It is finished. He has made a way for us to be reconciled to God. Joy awaits all who believe in Him.

Words cannot describe what Jesus went through to save me. I can’t even fathom the darkness and hurt that fell upon Him, the weight He carried. Thank You, Lord, for giving us Jesus and for His willingness to sacrifice Himself for us all. I hang all my hope on Him because He hung for me. Thank You that He endured the cross so I can come close to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 


If we’re honest, when we’re already in a difficult season, connecting with God through praying and reading our Bibles can feel overwhelming. That’s why Proverbs 31 Ministries created a new devotional book just for you — Clear Mind, Peaceful Heart: 50 Devotions for Sleeping Well in a World Full of Worry. Written by busy women for busy women, this devotional is filled with 50 encouraging devotions, Scripture verses and guided prayers, making it easier than ever for you to simply show up and spend time with God at the end of your day. Get your copy here!



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Isaiah 53:4-5, “Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed” (ESV).

How does it change your perspective on Holy Week to know that Jesus willingly went to the cross for your joy? How can you live out your life today in a way that reflects your thankfulness?

Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

© 2024 by Sarah Freymuth. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
P.O. Box 3189
Matthews, NC 28106

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