The Happiest People!

Brief Bible Course for Teens and Youth.

Lesson 12. The Joy That Was Set Before Him. 

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Memory Verse: "Let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 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 is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:1, 2.

"Please, Thara, I want some medicine," tearfully pleaded a little Indian woman in my dispensary one day.

"Some fever medicine?" I asked helpfully.

"No, no. I want some strong medicine!" she sobbed.

"Is it for sore eyes?" I asked.

"No, no, it's not that kind of medicine."

"Is it for ringworm?"

"Oh, no!" And for a few moments she cried and couldn't speak, and then when the words came again, she said, "It's for my husband, to sprinkle it on his food, so that when he eats it he will love me again."

Of course I didn't have any of that kind of medicine. But I have often wished that we could buy medicines like that. Wouldn't it be grand just to take a dose of some magic medicine and then be temptation proof and sin proof!

All I could do was to tell that little Indian woman some nice, kind little things that she could do and say, but do you know, they worked! In a few days she and her husband both called in--all smiles and sunshine, with a little present, as they do in the Orient, for Thara.  And I know some little things that we can do and say whereby "we may be assured that we shall never fall" (Messages to Young People, p. 116), and whereby we may know that "Satan can not overcome him whose heart is thus stayed upon God." Steps to Christ, p. 103. They are all comprehended in that little chorus we often sing:

"Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face;
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace."

Paul speaks of the power there is in keeping our eyes on Jesus: "We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory even as by the Spirit of the Lord." 2 Corinthians 3:18.

My dear young people, here is the power that will change one's life, and keep him from falling, and it comes when we lift our eyes to Jesus and gaze into His wonderful face. It is by beholding Him, by meditating upon His love, that the power changes our lives. Let me read a little paragraph to that same effect from Education, page 282:

"As the highest preparation for your work, I point you to the words, the life, the methods, of the Prince of teachers. I bid you consider Him. Here is your true ideal. Behold it, dwell upon it, until the Spirit of the divine Teacher shall take possession of your heart and life. 'Reflecting as a mirror the glory of the Lord,' you will be 'transformed into the same image.'"

The great object of walking the Christian's path is to be like Jesus, and at the end of the way to be with Jesus, and here we have the secret. We must lift our eyes to Jesus always. We must gaze upon Him always, for it is only by beholding that we can reflect His glory and thus be transformed.

I wish it were possible for me to tell you that just as soon as we accept Christ we will immediately be like Him; that just as soon as we accept Him there will be no more struggle, no more need to learn patience, faith, and trust in God; that once we are baptized and take the name of Christ, there will be no more struggling, trouble, or perse­cution, but I cannot tell anyone such things, for they are not true. I read the very words of Jesus Himself speaking in John 16:33. "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."

In Ephesians 6 Paul, talking about Christian experience, draws an analogy to war; "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." Verses 10, 11. Jesus calls it tribulation. Paul calls it a war. Daniel calls it a time of trouble such as there never was upon the earth. Paul uses another analogy in Hebrews 12. He refers to the Christian experience as a race, so intense that every weight and even the little things that so easily beset us must be laid aside.

Now, although I cannot tell you that the Christian life is an easy one, that the pathway is always a rosy one, and that trials and persecution will never come your way, I can point you to a guaranteed formula, the secret of be­ing able to endure the trials and the shame and of running the race with patience. I can point you to a prescription that will help you to rejoice in spite of your trials. Here it is:


"I know of a world that is sunk in shame,
Where hearts oft faint and tire;
But I know of a name, a precious name,
That can set that world on fire.
Its sound is sweet, its letters flame;
I know of a name, a precious name­ Tis Jesus.

"I know of a book, a marvelous book,
With a message for all who hear;
And the same dear name, that wonderful name,
Illumines its pages clear.
The book is His Word. Its message I've heard;
I know of a name, a precious name­ Tis Jesus.

"I know of a home in Immanuel's land,
Where hearts ne'er faint nor tire.
And His marvelous name, His own dear name,
Inspires the heavenly choir.
Hear the melody ringing, my own heart singing.
I know of a name, a precious name­ Tis Jesus."
J. W. Chapman.

I am so glad that after calling the Christian life a race Paul also gave the secret of running successfully that great race. Let us read it in Hebrews 12:1, 2: "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 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 is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."

There is only the one secret for all of us. We must keep our eyes upon Jesus. Let me bring you a few little homely parables from the jungles of Burma that we may understand better the mysterious power there is in keeping our eyes upon Jesus.

In my dispensary many years ago a little jungle mother came to me with a two-year-old baby boy on her arm. He was very sick, and as I looked at him and questioned her about his health, I quickly came to the conclusion that this little boy first of all had to have a dose of castor oil. Now, I don't like giving castor oil to people. I don't like the look of it, or the smell of it, and whenever possible I try to get out of giving it. So on this occasion I told the mother how busy I was and gave her a spoonful of castor oil to give to the baby. As soon as I went inside I heard the baby yell. I knew it would. I could in imagination see the baby spitting it out and the mother catching it in the spoon again.

Suddenly the crying stopped, and I went out to congratulate the mother on her success. But when I got out on the veranda, there was the oil still in the spoon. The baby had not tasted a drop. But from the pack on her back that wise little jungle mother had taken out a lump of native sugar, and was holding it just beyond the baby's reach. She was saying, "If you want this lump of sugar, you must take your oil without any fuss." And I saw how very much that baby wanted that sugar. Oh, how he wanted it! He swallowed down his tears and reached out his little hands, but his mother said, "Not until you have taken your oil."

He looked at the oil and then at the sugar and then at the oil and then at the sugar, and then that baby boy quit looking at the oil. With his eyes on the sugar, he opened his mouth, and down went the horrible castor oil. Then his hands grasped the prize.

That mother has long since forgotten that dose of castor oil, but I never will. I know better now what Paul meant when he told us to keep our eyes on Jesus. That lump of sugar was not mixed with the oil. It did not take away the nasty taste or feeling of the oil, but it helped the little fellow to endure the hardship that went with taking it.

Here is another parable: One day one of my boys came from school to the dispensary. I could tell by the way he walked that his head and his back were aching. As he came to the window he said, "Thara, please give me a dose of quinine mixture."

I said, "Do you like bitter medicine?"

He said, "No, of course I don't like bitter medicine, but please give me a dose."

I said, "What a funny boy you are. You don't like bitter things, and yet you come and ask me to give you a dose of the bitterest medicine there is."

Then he said, "Thara, I am not thinking about the bitter medicine. I am thinking about tomorrow, when my head won't ache any more, and my back won't ache any more, and I will be able to go to school again and play with the other boys again."

So I poured him out a dose of quinine mixture. I saw him shut his eyes, swallow the medicine, and shudder from head to toe.

He said, "Thank you so much, Thara."

I replied, "What a strange boy you are! You don't like anything that is bitter, but you come and ask me for it, and then when I give it to you, you say ‘Thank you’." But of course I know why he said ‘Thank you’.

If we would only keep our eyes upon Jesus, we would long to be like Him, and we would desire nothing more than to be rid of the miserable malaria of sin, which makes us come short of the glory of God. Even if it needed some bitter draft, we would dare to ask God for it, if thereby we could become Christ-like.

Here is still another parable: I was on my way into the village of Naungkaring for my quarterly visit. I was carrying in supplies for Thara Peter. Ordinarily it was only three miles from the riverbank, where we left the river­boat, straight across the rice fields. But this was the monsoon season. It had been raining for a month, and the paddy fields were filled with water and mud. A number of them had already been planted, and I had to zigzag my way, walking on the narrow mud walls of the terraced rice fields that lay in the way.

There was a hard two-hour journey before me. I had an umbrella over my head. I had a big pack on my back and big gum boots on my feet, but frequently I slipped into the mud over my knees, and I want to assure you it is no joke sitting down in a mud path to take off big boots, and to pour the mud out and then put them on again. As I slipped and plodded along I was saying to myself, "Oh, there'll be joy when the work is done." And if you can understand what I mean, I was feel­ing gloriously miserable.

Just then I came to a little terraced rice field where there were about a dozen people planting rice. I could tell by the way they straightened their backs that their backs were aching terribly. Their lips were blue from exposure. Their clothes were sticking to their bodies, and their fingers were all wrinkled as though they had been washing dishes all day long. I was genuinely sorry for them, and to an old man who was nearby I said, "Uncle, I am so sorry for you."

He looked up at me, and not understanding what I was sorry about, he said, "Huh?"

I said, "I am sorry because you have to work so hard, and that you have goose flesh all over your body from the cold."

"Huh?" he said.

I said, "You are standing in soft, oozy mud up to your knees. I am so sorry you have to work under such unfavorable circumstances."

And then a smile broke over his face. Turning around to his companions and pointing to me with his thumb over his shoulder, he said, "Poor white man. He doesn't understand." Then with his face all aglow he said to me, "0 Thara, don't you know, this is the best mud in all this river valley? Look how nice and soft it is. See how easy it is to poke the rice in. We have been planting rice ever since early morning, and we will plant until we cannot see another stalk of rice in our hands. This is good mud. Mud like this will grow forty bushels of rice to the acre."

If a sermon is judged by the amount of good it does and by the length of time it is remembered, that was the best sermon I have ever heard in my life. I went on my way saying to myself over and over again, "Good mud, good mud! Forty bushels of rice to the acre in mud like this;" You see the meaning of the parable, don't you?

My dear young people, when we become truly hungry and thirsty after righteousness and determine to feed on the Word of God, we shall be so anxious to see the fruits of the Spirit come forth in our lives that when we pray for patience, and God sends trials, we will be able to say, "Good mud. This is the kind of mud in which patience grows." In the little heartaches we will be able to recognize the very things that produce the glorious harvest "forty bushels of rice to the acre" in mud like this.

Let me tell you yet one more little parable. One day I went to the village of Awbawa to inspect the school at the regular half-year period. After school the usual company of village patients flocked in for treatment. They had sore eyes and malaria, and there were teeth to be pulled. While I was at work one poor man came up the ladder groaning pitifully with a huge abscess on his wrist. He said, "Quick, Thara, quick! Get your knife and cut it. Cut it deep and squeeze all the matter out."

But I said, "My dear man, it will hurt if I cut that."

He said, "Never mind if it does hurt. Come quick, get your knife, and cut it."

I said, "You are the strangest man I have seen for a long time. Do you like people to hurt you?"

"No, no," he said, "of course I don't, but I have not been able to sleep or eat for ten days, and I am thinking about being able to sleep again and eat again. Come on, take your knife, and cut it."

I said, "You want me to cut you and deliberately hurt you?"

He said, "Please don't wait any more. If you think it is because I will make too much noise, call those six big men over there, and make them sit all over me, and then take your knife and cut deep."

And I did that very thing. I called six big men nearby to sit on him, and they sat on his stomach, and on his legs and all over him, and held his hands tight. The poor man gritted his teeth and grunted and said, "Doctor, I am all ready. Now cut it." And I cut it, lancing the boil so deeply that he groaned with pain.

When I whispered, "Shall I stop now?" he cried, "No, no, keep on. Don't stop till it is finished."

I cut and I squeezed it. I poured in red-hot iodine. He cried and wept in agony. "Shall I stop now?" I asked him.

"No, no, keep on," he said.

I kept on till the boil was lanced thoroughly and drained properly. And when at last it was all over, and there was a nice clean bandage all around his arm, he sat up, moved over beside me, took my hand in his, the hand that had cut him and hurt him, and stroking it lie wept out his joy, "Oh, thank you, doctor. Thank you so much."

And now, my dear young people, can you understand the meaning of these simple parables? Do we really truly long to be like Jesus? Do we long to speak like Him, to act like Him, to look like Him so much that we would be willing to say, "0 Lord, if you see some terrible habit that is robbing me of my goal, cut it out, Lord, cut deep, hurt me, Lord; do anything as long as I can be rid of that thing that is keeping me from being like Thee."

I believe that is what Paul meant when he said, "Run with patience the race that is set before you, looking unto Jesus," for in the eleventh verse of the same chapter of Hebrews, Paul adds: "Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness to them that are exercised thereby." What could be more joyous than to have a life filled with the fruits of the Spirit, and thus to be like Jesus. This assurance is given in a paragraph from Education, page 192: 

"As the student of the Bible beholds the Redeemer, there is awakened in the soul the mysterious power of faith, adoration, and love. Upon the vision of Christ the gaze is fixed, and the beholder grows into the likeness of that which he adores."

I want you to lift your eyes upon Jesus with me for a few moments. I want you to gaze with me into His wonderful face. I want you to feel the drawing power of Christ as His love compels us to long to be more like Him. Contemplate with me that marvelous text: "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16.

Jesus came to this world to give His life for His own, but His own received Him not. Those whom He would have saved spat upon Him, mocked Him, ridiculed Him, and crucified Him on the tree. We see Him standing on that day in the judgment place of Pilate. Pilate could find no fault in the sinless Son of God. Hoping that Caiaphas and the priests and elders would be satisfied if Jesus was scourged, Pilate delivered Jesus to the soldiers. They platted a crown of thorns and pressed it upon His brow. They dressed Him in a crimson robe and placed a scepter in His hand.

They mocked Him, and stripped Him to the waist, and whipped Him. With His back bleeding and bruised, He stood at Pilate's judgment seat, and beside Him a desperate villain, for again Pilate had hoped that if he contrasted this Man with the sin-hardened Barabbas, surely the multitude would demand the innocent Man's release. Satan and demons in human form spurred the fanatical mob on, and they bellowed like wild beasts, "Away with this man and release unto us Barabbas."

"What shall I do then with Jesus?" Pilate asked.

"Crucify him, crucify him," they yelled.

After the coarsest of insults, down the stairway into the cobblestone road they led Jesus. Soldiers had to stand guard to keep Him from being torn limb from limb by the rude throng inspired by fanatical hatred. The heavy crosses were placed upon the two thieves, and upon Jesus they placed the cross that had been prepared for Barabbas, but it was too much for His human strength. He fainted beneath the load.

All night long He had been jostled from one judgment place to another. He was taken from the house of Annas to Caiaphas and then to Pilate and to Herod and back to Pilate again. He had had nothing to eat since the Passover supper with the disciples. His humanity could not stand it, and He fell fainting to the ground. His mother stood nearby, longing to lift His head, to wipe His brow and to pillow His head on her bosom, but she was held back by the Roman soldiers. The disciples too, stunned because Jesus did not release Himself, stood afar off. The soldiers looked for someone upon whom to put the cross, for no Jew would defile himself in such a way during the Passover season.

Then came Simon the Cyrenian, a man from the northern coast of Africa who had heard about Christ, but had not yet believed on Him. His sons were believers, and he had come to the feast hoping to hear the words of life from this marvelous Teacher. He had pressed into the crowd, expressing his sympathy, and now felt honored to be able to carry the cross for Christ.

Down the narrow road they went where the crowd was yelling, "Crucify Him, crucify Him." Only a few days before, the people had waved palm branches and laid their clothes on the road for the entry of Jesus into the city. Then they had called, "Hosanna, hosanna," and the disciples were close, and, oh, so happy! But now His disciples were following afar off.

Out of the Damascus gate they went; the hills around Jerusalem sparkled with the tents and encampments of three million pilgrims, for it was the great feast of the year, and the people had gathered in Jerusalem from Dan to Beersheba.

A mighty mob of curious onlookers was quickly made up, as they surged onward toward Calvary. As they reached the top of the mount, the soldiers stood guard to keep away the multitude. Resisting to their last ounce of strength, the two thieves were tied securely to their crosses, but when the executioners came to Jesus, He offered no resistance. As a lamb before its shearers is dumb so He opened not His mouth.

They took off His clothes, and the soldiers gambled for His garments. He was then rudely felled to the ground by one of the brutal soldiers, stretched upon the cruel cross, and the nails driven through His hands and feet. As the cross was planted, His body sagged upon the nails and the blood gushed forth. Only then did He speak, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." Above Him there was the inscription, THE KING OF THE JEWS.

Nearby stood the sneering high priests; all around Him were His false accusers, reviling, ridiculing, and mocking Him. They shouted, "If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross." "He saved others; himself he cannot save." The thieves took up the cry, "Save thyself and us." The disciples who had been so near to Him when they thought He was going to set up His temporal kingdom whispered, "We trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel."

Was there no one to speak a word of comfort to the Saviour of mankind as He paid the price that day? Was there no one to express his faith and love for the sacrifice He was making? Yes, there was one, and he was a thief! There he hung on the cross beside the Lord. His ears heard the mockery and ridicule, and then he remembered.

At heart he was not a bad boy. He had heard the prophets' words of a promised Messiah, but he had gotten into bad company. They had led him into bad habits, and now as he saw the inscription on the top of the cross and remembered what his mother had told him, he believed, and he called out, "Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom." What music it must have been in the Saviour's ears. He could read the sincerity of the tone of his voice, and lifting His eyes lovingly upon that young man, He answered him right away, "Verily I say unto thee today, thou shalt be with me in paradise."

In heaven the songs of praise were hushed, and angels veiled their faces. The sun in the sky refused to shine, and a strange, unnatural darkness settled down over that terrible mob. It was as the darkness of midnight without moon or stars, and as the darkness settled down over the mob, "the silence of the grave seemed to have fallen upon Calvary. A nameless terror held the throng that was gathered about the cross. The cursing and reviling ceased in the midst of half-uttered sentences. Men, women, and children fell prostrate upon the earth. Vivid lightnings occasionally flashed forth from the cloud, and revealed the cross and the crucified Redeemer. Priests, rulers, scribes, executioners, and the mob, all thought that their time of retribution had come." The Desire of Ages, p. 754.

On the cross "Christ felt the anguish which the sinner will feel when mercy shall no longer plead for the guilty race. It was the sense of sin, bringing the Father's wrath upon Him as man's substitute, that made the cup He drank so bitter, and broke the heart of the Son of God." The Desire of Ages, p. 753.

At the ninth hour the darkness lifted from the people, and the jeering and mocking and ridicule once more began to be heard from the mob. Then from the lips of Jesus came these words, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Jeering and ridiculing, they mocked Him. "He calleth for Elias.... Let us see whether Elias will come," said some. But His disciples, spent with disappointment, now wept as they said to one another, "If God has forsaken Him, then what hope is there any more?"

Then Jesus spoke again, and said, "I thirst." One of the soldiers, whose heart was touched with what he saw, lifted up a sponge soaked in vinegar.

"The spotless Son of God hung upon the cross, His flesh lacerated with stripes; those hands so often reached out in blessing, nailed to the wooden bars; those feet so tireless on ministries of love, spiked to the tree; that royal head pierced by the crown of thorns; those quivering lips shaped to the cry of woe. And all that He endured-the blood drops that flowed from His head, His hands, His feet, the agony that racked His frame, and the unutterable anguish that filled His soul at the hiding of His Father's face-speaks to each child of humanity, declaring, It is for thee that the Son of God consents to bear this burden of guilt; for thee He spoils the domains of death, and opens the gates of Paradise. He who stilled the angry waves and walked the foam-capped billows, who made devils tremble and disease flee, who opened blind eyes and called forth the dead to life, offers Himself upon the cross as a sacrifice, and this from love to thee. He, the Sin Bearer, endures the wrath of divine justice, and for thy sake becomes sin itself....

"Suddenly the gloom lifted from the cross, and in clear, trumpetlike tones . . . Jesus cried, 'It is finished.' 'Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit.' A light encircled the cross, and the face of the Saviour shone with a glory like the sun. He then bowed His head upon His breast, and died." Desire of Ages, pp. 754-756.

The multitude stood there with bated breath, gazing upon the cross. But only for a moment, for again there were ominous sounds as the storm above and the storm beneath began to gather. The thunder roared, the earth rumbled, and there was a mighty earthquake. The rocks were rent from the hills nearby, and went crashing into the valleys. The graves were opened, and the dead were cast out of their tombs. The earth reeled to and fro. Priests, rulers, soldiers, executioners, mute with terror, tried to run for their lives, but fell prostrate upon the reeling earth.

In the city in the court of the Temple it was the time of the evening sacrifice. The lamb was on the altar. The knife was in the priest's hand. His hand was raised, ready to slay the sacrifice, but the priest trembled. The sound was terrifying, and the knife fell to the ground. The lamb escaped. There was a sound of rent fabric, and the veil of the Temple was rent from top to bottom. Everybody now knew that the glory of God had departed. No longer was there any need for the sacrifice. Jesus, the Lamb of God, had been slain for the sins of all the world.

"He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and ac­quainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." Isaiah 53:3-5.

Have you ever wondered what the multitude did that day as they gazed upon Jesus hanging on the cross? We know what a few of them did. The centurion stood there, a hardened man, having witnessed many a scene like this, yet he had never seen a man die like that. He had never heard a man talk like that, and as he saw the Son of God die upon the cross, from his lips came the open confession, "Truly this was the Son of God."

Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus were there that day. They too gazed upon Jesus. Until that time they were fearful, timidly following along, secretly believing in Him, but not daring to espouse His cause openly. But now, as they saw the Son of God die for them, and pay the price for them upon the cross, ashamed of their timidity, they went boldly to Pilate and begged the body of Jesus, and after that openly espoused the cause of Christ and gave all they had to see its triumph in the world.

Peter must have been there, afar off somewhere, perhaps, but I think he was among those who wept, and yet as he saw Christ pay the price He foretold, how slowly it all came back to his mind. Just a few hours before this Peter had thrice denied his Lord, but the compassionate look of Jesus smote Peter's conscience. Out into the darkness he went and sought out the place where he had gone to sleep; then he sought the place where Jesus had agonized in prayer and sweat the great drops of blood, and kneeling in the same place, poor old Peter had wished that he could die. As little by little the meaning of it all came to him, and he remembered how Jesus had said His kingdom was not of this world, a holy courage and boldness was born within him, and from that experience there came to the cause of Christ a new Peter.

Never again did Peter deny Christ. He truly followed Him even unto his own death upon the cross. And we read when Peter was crucified, he made one request. He said, "I am not worthy to be crucified as was my Lord. Crucify me head downward," and so, tradition tells us, Peter was crucified that way.

Simon the Cyrenian had carried the cross to Calvary, and as he saw Christ die and realized what his boys had told him, he went forth carrying his own cross, a follower of the Lord from that time. I think Simon was one of the happiest men in the whole world that day. To think that he had had the privilege of carrying the cross for the Saviour of the world! How his friends, his children, and his grandchildren must have pressed him to tell that story over and over again. I wish it could have been I! I wish I could have carried the cross for the Saviour that day!

The thief was there. He remembered as he saw the Son of God dying he had claimed a place in the mansions He was going to prepare, and he acknowledged his sins and forsook them. I think Barabbas must have been there, don't you? Somewhere in the crowd he looked on as Jesus died on the cross intended for him, and died in his place. I wonder what he said, what he thought, how he felt.

Thousands of others, after looking upon Jesus, determined to study the Scriptures as they had never done before and read what the prophets had said about the Messiah. A few weeks later three thousand of them were converted and baptized in a single day.

"They borrowed a bed to lay His head
When Christ the Lord came down;
They borrowed the ass in the mountain pass
For Him to ride to town;
But the crown that He wore
And the cross that He bore
Were His own
The cross was His own.

"He borrowed the bread when the crowd He fed
On the grassy mountain side;
He borrowed the dish of broken fish
With which He satisfied;
But the crown that He wore
And the cross that He bore
Were His own
The cross was His own.

"He borrowed a ship in which to sit
To teach the multitude;
He borrowed the nest in which to rest,
He had never a home so rude;
But the crown that He wore
And the cross that He bore
Were His own
The cross was His own.

"He borrowed a room on His way to the tomb
The Passover Lamb to eat;
They borrowed a cave for Him a grave,
They borrowed a winding sheet;
But the crown that He wore
And the cross that He bore
Were His own
The cross was His own.

"The thorns on His head were worn in my stead;
For me, the Saviour died;
For guilt of my sin the nails drove in
When Him they crucified.
Though the crown that He wore
And the cross that He bore
Were His own
They rightly were mine."
L. M. Hollingsworth.

How could Christ endure the cross, and despise the shame? I know. Paul tells us, "Who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame." Hebrews 12:2. Yes, Jesus had a joy set before Him. He kept His eyes on that joy, just as He wants you and me to keep our eyes on Him. And when the way was hard, when the disappointments poured upon Him, Christ kept looking unto that joy. What was it? It was the joy of seeing you and me saved in His kingdom. And "he shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied." Isaiah 53:11.

I cannot disappoint Him. By His grace I am going to be there. Will you be there too? Then, "let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith."


When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
See, from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down;
Did e'er such love and sorrow meet?
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Since I, who was undone and lost,
Have pardon through His name and word;
Forbid it, then, that I should boast,
Save in the cross of Christ my Lord.
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a tribute far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my life, my soul, my all.
Isaac Watts. 

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