Read Hebrews 12:1-3.
Christ knew the glories and splendor of heaven. And yet, He left heaven for earth, and He did so with joy. How can it be that Jesus was delighted to leave the majesty of heaven and come to this broken world in order to do the will of the Father? Though He was counted among the poorest of the poor and the lowest of the low; though He was placed in a feeding trough normally reserved for animals; though most of His life was spent in a small town as a humble carpenter; though He had no place to lay His head during His earthly ministry; though He was betrayed by His closest friends; though He was falsely accused and arrested by the religious leaders of His day; though He was spat upon and whipped with lashes until His skin was torn; though He wore a crown of thorns and His hands and feet were nailed to a cross—He endured it all "for the joy set before him" (Hebrews 12:2).
Jesus delighted to do the will of the Father and carry our sentence—your punishment and mine.
The Son of God lived and died and walked under the weight of the worst this world has to offer, and He did it for people—for rebellious, sinful, evil people. For you and for me. We are His joy. The Lord did not act reluctantly, begrudgingly, or angrily. No, He did everything He was asked to do with pure joy. He was pleased to come to earth at Christmas and to die on Good Friday because He could look down through the centuries and see that millions upon millions of people would be saved eternally. Thus, He delighted to do the will of the Father and carry our sentence—your punishment and mine.
This Christmas, find your joy where Jesus did—in doing the will of the Father. Reflect on the beauty of the cross and what it means for you and all of humanity. Thank the Lord that Jesus did not waver but found His joy in perfect obedience. Above all, know that God loves you. As the apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome, "He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?" (Romans 8:32). The glories of heaven are yours and mine, awaiting us in eternity. Jesus purchased this future hope for us on the cross.
Prayer: Jesus, thank You for Your incredible love that led You to leave the glories of heaven to save sinners like me. This Christmas, may I keep the full Gospel in view—the Truth that You set Your face toward Calvary all Your life, living perfectly in my stead and then dying to take the punishment I deserve. Amazingly, it was Your joy to redeem me. Your love is worthy of all my worship! I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"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" (Hebrews 12:2).
Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef's sermon Christmas According to Jesus: LISTEN NOW