Jesus Endured

How “Joy” Makes Enduring Possible!

Hebrews 12:1-3

May 19, 2013 AM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland


I.       Introduction (Hebrews 12:1-2)


A.      We don’t endure very well.

B.      No one has ever found it easy to endure, or persevere through the hard times of life


1.      Frustration, stress builds up inside us to the point of exhaustion

2.      And we quit doing right – we just quit doing what we know deep down to be right

3.      Our modern generation is filled with QUITTERS! And it shows


a.       People are doing more and more

b.      But FINISHING less and less!

c.       Everyone today feels like failures – living to be entertained instead of to finish!


C.      God has called us to run a race (Heb 12:1)


1.      You don’t have to WIN the race…

2.      But you do have to finish it!


D.     I am amazed at the life lived by Jesus of Nazareth!


1.      A life of steady perseverance! And endurance!

2.      A life not lived in ease, or with no problems, or hardships

3.      But a life of constant hardships, that never swayed Him from His course

4.      Jesus said “If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto myself”

5.      So this morning I want to thoroughly lift Him up!


II.    Message (Hebrews 12:2,3)


A.      The Main Focus – Looking Unto Jesus (Hebrews 12:2)


1.      We often look to each other for encouragement, for hope


a.       We usually look to our friends to pick us up

b.      To the government (more and more) to fix our problems

c.       To religious leaders (so many still do…) to make us feel good

d.      To ourselves even (constantly told to look inside ourselves, and look for the power within…)

e.       And yet, every one of them FAILS US at some time or another! Big time!


2.      What makes us as Christians different, is that we ONLY look to Jesus!


a.       What does an atheist look to? A dark hole in the ground is their only hope – their only exit from this life of woe!

b.      What does an evolutionist look to? A bubbling test tube in a laboratory.

c.       What does a Catholic look to? A dead statue, an icon, a mable altar.

d.      But, WE have something much better!


1)     Isa 45:22  Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

2)     Joh 1:29  The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

3)     2Ti 4:8  Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

4)     Tit 2:13  Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ


e.       People let us down all the time. But not Jesus of Nazareth!


3.       “Looking unto Jesus” means…


a.       Keeping my attention on Him



2)     Or on my stocks or investments

3)     Not on my successes or accomplishments

4)     But on this lowly Carpenter’s Son, who lived right here, in this world


b.      Learning everything I can from the way Jesus lived

c.       Letting Jesus be MY example, my pattern of life, my leader – to follow His footsteps

d.      Leaning on His wisdom, doing things His way

e.       Making JESUS the measure of my life – if I can be more like Him, then I am a success!

f.        That’s why we here seek to be CHRIST-ians – LIKE CHRIST!


1)     Not Einsteinians, or Hawking-ites (super smart-alecks)

2)     Not Oscar Wild-ians, or Maeve Binchians

3)     Not Beyoncians, or Emineminites!

4)     Not Mother Theresians, or John Paul the Secondians

5)     I want to be like Jesus Christ!


g.       The greatest thing you can do this morning is to look unto Him - keep your eyes, your attention on Him!


B.      He is Not Only the Starter, but, the Finisher (Hebrews 12:2)


1.      I am so glad that God stepped into this world and gave us something rock solid to believe! 


a.       Something better than Hollywood

b.      Something better than evolution!

c.       Something better than religion

d.      God is the AUTHOR of everything that is right, and real to believe

e.       “He” AUTHORED our faith!

f.        These are NOT cunningly devised fables of men…


1)     Like JK Rowling’s – Harry Potter – magical spells

2)     Dan Brown’s – Da Vinci Code – secret powers and knowledge

3)     But God has given to us real, tested and proven FAITH – something that we really CAN hold onto and believe with all our heart


2.      But, I am MORE glad that God not only authored our faith, but FINISHES it as well!


a.       Philp 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.

b.      Psa 138:8  The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.

c.       1Th 5:23,24  And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.


3.      Thank God that when He said, “Follow me” He meant we could follow Him all the way home! Not because we can get there, but because HE will get us there!

4.      He really IS the FINISHER of our faith!


C.      But Here is the BIGGEST Thing About Jesus (Hebrews 12:2,3)


1.      Summary


a.       He Endured Everything!

b.      He Actually Despised the Shame of All that he was Going Through!


2.      He Endured Everything!


a.       It would be one thing to say that Jesus experienced problems

b.      It is another thing to know that he ENDURED problems


1)     Put up with problems, disappointments, let-downs

2)     Put up with problem people

3)     Put up with hardness and hard times

4)     He endured them all!


c.       Jesus had a job to do, a race to run (repairing the broken relationship between God and mankind), and that task demanded endurance (Mt 16:21; 20:18,19)


1)     He had to suffer through it

2)     He couldn’t quit!


d.      You see, He ENDURED – “Such Contradiction of Sinners” (Heb 12:3)!


1)     He Endured the Confusion and Ignorance of people – no matter how much He taught them


a)     They were so messed up in their religion – looking for more things to DO to earn God’s love and favour

b)     They only wanted a warrior, not a Saviour

c)      Yet Jesus, PRESSED ON, and kept teaching, kept loving ignorant people!


2)     He Endured the Crowds – the numbers of people did not impress Jesus!


a)     Often Jesus would take a crippled or bland man AWAY from all the crowds to heal them

b)     He saw them as a big circus

c)      They came only for the free food and entertainment

d)     Yet Jesus persevered – kept heading to the cross


3)     He Endured the Calamities – storms that came up against Him


a)     He was in the same ships that His disciples were sinking in time after time

b)     He faced the same storms

c)      He never once shied away from the storms they were in

d)     He just kept going forward

e)     He was going to finish His race!


4)     He Endured all the Criticism


a)     The Pharisees and Sadducees constantly sought to find FAULT with Jesus

b)     Jesus had to live every day with people watching His every move, and listening to every word – NOT to learn from and be encouraged, but to find a fault in Him

c)      Envy and jealousy drove His enemies mad

d)     They hunted Him, waited for Him to come so they could pounce on Him and prove Him wrong

e)     Yet Jesus kept going!


5)     He Endured His Conditions


a)     Constantly poor, tired, hungry, walking everywhere

b)     Yet He kept walking, never calling for a heavenly chariot

c)      He kept heading to Jerusalem!


6)     He Endured God’s Commandments


a)     Jesus lived under the same rules you and I are supposed to live by – God’s laws

b)     And boy did He live by the Book!

c)      However hard you may find it to keep God’s laws, so did Jesus – YET HE DID IT!

d)     And not just the Big Ten Commandments, but all 613 in the Old Testament!


7)     He Endured His Father’s Commission – His purpose and calling


a)     It was hard! Yet He Endured it

b)     No matter the cost (John 18:10,11)


8)     He Endured the Contradiction of His Companions – His Own Disciples (Mt 26:37-44)


a)     They were constantly arguing over who would be greatest

b)     They were constantly complaining about all the work they were being asked to do in ministering to people’s needs

c)      They were constantly missing the points of Jesus’ teachings

d)     And when he needed them the most, in the Garden of Gethsemane, and in Pilate’s judgment hall, they were nowhere to be seen!

e)     What great friends and companions!

f)       Yet, He kept going.


e.       As If THAT Wasn’t Enough, He Endured the Cross


1)     With all its Conspirators


a)     Oh how the Pharisees and Sadducees, and Herodians had planned and schemed, but without success

b)     And then along came Judas Iscariot

c)      And they together, conspired to capture and crucify Jesus

d)     And Jesus knowing all this, PRESSED ON ANYWAY


2)     With its Fake Courts – He received no justice that day!

3)     With all its Criminals


a)     One on each side, mocking Him, demanding Him to get them off their crosses

b)     The sinless Son of God was surrounded by the filthiest mouths, and the most wicked of men

c)      And yet He endured


4)     And its Crucifixion


a)     The most awful form of torture in all of human history was the process of crucifixion

b)     It all began when Jesus was taken from prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane


1.      And He was beaten, and bruised.

2.      His beard was ripped from his face.

3.      He was spit upon

4.      He was whipped 40 times with leather whips across His neck, and back and thighs

5.      He was marched several hundred metres through the city of Jerusalem, up a hill just outside the city gates called Golgotha, with a massive and heavy cross weighing Him down each and every step of the way

6.      He then was violently nailed to that cross, and left to die

7.      It took every ounce of strength to pull His body up that cross just to take in one breath

8.      And every time he moved on that cross, lightening bolts of pain would explode in His wrists and feet

9.      Not to mention the agony of the scraping of His wounds on His back as he moved up and down that old, rugged wooden cross!

10.  Yet He didn’t quit. He kept on, he endured!

11.  Mat 26:53,54  Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?


3.      Along with Enduring, He Actually Despised the Shame of All that he was Going Through!


a.       Normally problems in your life prove you are doing something wrong! That you are a failure!

b.      But Jesus knew better! And so should YOU!

c.       It means that Jesus despised, He rejected, He ignored everything happening around Him that might stop Him from finishing what God asked Him to do!


1)     All the shame, the embarrassment of that cross, He rejected


a)     They had falsely accused Him

b)     They had totally stripped Him naked

c)      They had publically mocked Him before Pilate, and then mocked Him some more while He hung on the cross

d)     And they brutally beat Him – PUBLICALLY


2)     But, He rejected all that embarrassment!


4.      How?


a.       How did He endure such great contradiction of sinners?

b.      How did He endure the cross?

c.       How did He despise all the same and turn away from every reason to quit?

d.      The answer is sort of sneakily stuck in the middle of Heb 12:2…


III.       Application – For the Joy that Was Set Ahead of Him


A.     THIS was the power behind even Messiah’s endurance – Joy!


1.      John 15:11  These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

2.      John 16:33  These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.


B.     The Joy Factor


1.      Pleasure, fun, entertainment only lasts a season

2.      But joy is totally different

3.      It is a feeling that comes NOT because something good is happening to us, but because we know something good WILL happen

4.      Joy is the result of hope! What HOPE did Jesus have that enabled Him to press on?


C.      What Joy was just beyond the Cross?


1.      The Joy of the Resurrection – He KNEW He would rise again!


a.       The cross was NOT the end

b.      The tomb was not final

c.       No matter what anyone thought, Sunday was coming when that stone would be rolled away, and everyone would find it EMPTY!

d.      Oh how amazing it must have been for Jesus to watch the joy spread! He was there, standing near the tomb the whole time as


1)     The women came and went

2)     As Peter and John came running to see and then went away astonished

3)     As Mary Magdalene hung around and mistook Jesus for the gardener


e.       Jesus enjoyed walking alongside the two disciples on the Road to Emmaus as they wondered at the news of the empty tomb.


2.      The Joy of Repentant Sinners, Converted, and Saved from Sin (Luke 15:4-7,10) He knew people would get saved, born again, forgiven!


a.       To this very minute, the greatest joy for God is watching boys and girls, men and women, young and old, humbling themselves before Him and crying out for forgiveness from their sinful lives and asking to be born again!

b.      No greater joy!


3.      The Joy of Defeating the Devil – He knew the devil was a loser!


a.       Jesus does not get excited about Cork beating Tipperary

b.      The Lord Jesus really enjoyed defeating the devil (Heb 2:14)


4.      The Joy of Accomplishing His Father’s Will (Isaiah 53:10,11; John 17:1-4)


D.     We Are Offered the SAME Joy – the SAME POWER to endure!


1.      The Joy of the Resurrection


a.       This is NOT all there is to life

b.      There is a BETTER day a coming – an eternal day!


2.      The Joy of Saved lives and homes


a.       I love seeing people saved

b.      I love seeing marriages miraculously restored

c.       I love seeing grown men weeping over their sinfulness and getting right with God

d.      Its’ BETTER than any drug, or any pleasure this world can offer


3.      The Joy of ruining the devil’s day


a.       Not giving in to some temptation He throws at me

b.      Not letting him pull my strings anymore

c.       Not giving him the pleasure of being the god of my life anymore


4.      The Joy of Doing Our Father’s Will

5.      All that JOY will help you endure…


a.       YOUR cross

b.      YOUR failures

c.       YOUR hardships

d.      YOUR boredom


IV.  Conclusion


A.     Jesus Endured, Because of joy


1.      He didn’t quit, when everyone else did

2.      He is sitting victorious at the Father’s right hand in heaven right now

3.      All because of Joy!


B.     That’s why Paul tells us in Hebrews 12:3 to “CONSIDER HIM”


1.      Lest we be weary in our minds and faint…

2.      Become tired of trying…

3.      And, not finish the Christian race that we were all called to run


C.      Look Unto Jesus (Hebrews 12:2)


1.      Isa 45:22  Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

2.      Joh 1:29  The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

3.      It doesn’t matter WHO else has let you down, Jesus never will!


4.      Keep you attention on Him

5.      Make JESUS the measure of your life


D.     Because He Endured!

E.      How?


1.      How did He endure such great contradiction of sinners?

2.      How did He endure the cross?

3.      How did He despise all the same and turn away from every reason to quit?


F.      For the Joy that Was Set Ahead of Him


1.      The Joy of the Resurrection – He KNEW He would rise again!

2.      The Joy of Repentant Sinners, Converted, and Saved from Sin (Luke 15:4-7,10) He knew people would get saved, born again, forgiven!

3.      The Joy of Defeating the Devil – He knew the devil was a loser!

4.      The Joy of Accomplishing His Father’s Will (Isaiah 53:10,11; John 17:1-4)


G.     We Are Offered the SAME Joy

H.     If you decide to get it this morning, it will help you endure…


1.      YOUR cross, no matter how heavy

2.      YOUR failures, no matter how bad

3.      YOUR hardships, no matter how hard

4.      YOUR boredom, no matter how hard