It occurs 271 times in the New Living Translation Bible.
Hebrews 12:2b (NIV), referring to Jesus, says, “For the ‘JOY’ (my emphasis) set before him he endured the cross, scorning it shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Some would say that Jesus was a different – even a weird – dude.
We can and should be thankful that his life on earth could prompt such a description of him.
But Jesus was neither so different, nor so weird, that he (EN)”JOY”(ED) the cross. The verse quoted above states he endured it – not that he (EN)”JOY”(ED) it.
He would have been glad to have avoided it.
That’s what his prayer in Gethsemane (which he prayed three times in rather rapid succession) is all about. See Matthew 26:36-46.
But when his Father made it clear to Jesus that his will for Jesus included death on the cross, Jesus acquiesced.
Beyond that, Jesus carried the cross, and experienced both the pain that went with being nailed to and suspended on it, and the shame of it.
He suffered on the cross. He died on the cross.
For you. For me.
That Jesus would do that for us is definitely, decidedly, different. It is, truly, wonderfully, wackily, weird.
Thanks be to God, that is who Jesus is, based on what he has done.
But, how does Jesus manage to derive ANY “JOY” from THAT??
Here’s an offering of three possible answers.
No. Three actual questions.
1) Might there be “JOY” for Jesus in doing as his Father willed?
2) Might there be “JOY” for Jesus in making it possible for all persons of all time (we’re in there, folks) to be saved from eternal separation from God because of their sins?
3) Might there be “JOY” for Jesus in sitting down, in heaven, at the right hand of throne of God, with his Father occupying the throne?
On Jesus arrival in heaven, and his sitting down at the right hand of the throne of God, with his Father occupying the throne, might the Father have said to Jesus, “Well done, my good and faithful Son.”
And if God so complimented Jesus, might there be “JOY” for Jesus in hearing those words?