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Read Introduction to Hebrews


2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.


who for [because of] the joy that was set before Him

The “joy” here was the prospective joy that Jesus would have at the throne of God when He finished His suffering and exaltation. It was the joy of knowing what His death would accomplish. Because Jesus put the value of redeeming men above everything else, He endured the cross.

endured the cross,

How Jesus endured the cross is a paradigm for believers. The cross was a gruesome and painful means of death.

despising the shame,

Jesus disdained the shame of the cross by willingly accepting the ignominy of public crucifixion. Nothing deterred Him from the goal of paying for the sins of mankind. Later, Hebrews says that Christians are to bear this shame (He 13:12–13). Jesus not only endured physical pain and torture but the ignominy and disgrace of dying a criminal’s death.

and has sat down

Jesus sat down permanently after paying the price for our sin (perfect tense). The Father permanently enthroned and exalted Him forever.

at the right hand of the throne of God.

The book of Hebrews refers to Psalm 110:1 many times, referring to Jesus’ sitting at the right hand of God. The cross is the path to the throne (He 1:3; 8:1).


The perfect pattern for walking by faith is Jesus.


Jesus’ joy was in His sacrifice for others by His redemption of those who believe in Him. There is present joy for the Christian in taking God’s promises by faith.

We should do what we do in the light of Jesus having done what He did. He pressed on through trial to His goal. Every believer needs to press toward maturity in Christ. When we compare our suffering for His sake with His suffering for us, there is a stark contrast. He suffered so much more on our behalf. He did not spare His life when He thought of us.