Dr. Dan Hayden •
Have you ever been in a contest where you knew you could win? You enjoyed it – didn’t you?
In Hebrews 12:2 it says, “Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
It’s this little word “for” that I want you to see. “Who ‘for’ the joy set before Him.” Now this is not the usual word for “for” here. It’s the Greek word onti where we get our English word “anti” which has the idea of opposite or against.
We use this word a lot in our medical terminology. We have antibiotics and antihistamines to counteract illness. Furthermore, we put antifreeze in our cars and we put antiperspirants under our arms. “Anti” – something that is opposite or against.
So, what’s a nice word like that doing in a verse like this? Well, it’s like a football game. Your team is on the forty-yard line looking down the field at the goalpost anticipating the joy of scoring a touchdown. But – between your team and the goal line is the other team and they are “anti.” They’re against you doing that. But you push ahead anyway right through that other team and end up experiencing the joy of winning. The cross and the shame were against our Lord’s joy, but He went right through them and won the victory over sin and death.
“Who against the joy set before Him…”
Hey – the joy of winning includes overcoming the enemy!