“We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now He is seated in the place of honour beside God’s throne.”
What was the joy that awaited Jesus? His joy was so great that it gave Him power to endure the suffering He went through on the cross, disregarding the shame of being punished a criminal on the cursed tree, and strength to endure the ridicule, pain and torture He went through!
Jesus’ joy was that God could finally and eternally have an intimate relationship with us, by Jesus finishing the race, persevering to the end and completing the commission given to Him by the Father. God has always wanted a relationship with mankind. He walked freely with Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, talking with them face to face. Yet because Adam and Eve sinned by eating the forbidden fruit, the intimacy could no longer remain, as God is perfect and Adam and Eve’s sins made them imperfect. Yet that all changed when a perfect, sinless, spotless Lamb, our Champion, laid down His life for us and made a way that God could once more have a relationship with us, His people. He no longer sees our imperfection, but looks at what Jesus did for us on the cross. There He sees perfection.
Jesus’ joy was knowing that His sacrifice would once more restore the severed relationship between God and man. Jesus’ joy was knowing that He was going to finish His ‘race’ for us, to pay the cost for our sins. His joy was birthed from His love for us. Jesus is our Champion.