Jesus’ Example of Endurance

Many of the events that preceded Jesus’ suffering and crucifixion focused on his hope thereby preparing him to endure. An example of this is when Jesus said to his disciples, “Some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power” (Mark 9:1). Within a week, Jesus took Peter, John, and James up a mountain where they experienced a vision that showed the glorified Jesus speaking with Moses and Elijah just as it will be in the Kingdom. The apostle also heard the voice of God say, “This is My beloved Son listen to him.” The impact on the apostles was life changing, and it also helped Jesus prepare for his suffering. Luke 9:31 tells us what Moses, Elijah, and Jesus talked about. “Speaking of his departure [exodus in Greek] which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.” The vision included not only information about the Kingdom of God, but also Jesus’ soon coming ascension. Surely while suffering, he would reflect on this event foretelling that he would soon be with his Father.

Shortly before Jesus’ incarceration, he raised Lazarus from the dead. When he was informed that his friend Lazarus was sick, Jesus waited days before going to help during which time Lazarus died. Since Jesus always carried out God’s will, we may conclude the delay was God inspired. Lazarus was not the only one to benefit from this miracle. With Lazarus Jesus experienced what would also happen to him after he died, so it was preparatory to build his faith.

The triumphal entry into Jerusalem happened right before Jesus was taken. This event fulfilled the prophecy set forth in Zechariah 9.

Zechariah 9:9. Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, Humble, and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

The night he was taken captive at the last supper, Jesus did what he did and said what he said knowing his time on earth was drawing to a close.

John 13:1. Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.

His words revealed that his soon coming ascension was in his heart and mind that night.

John 16:4-7. But these things I have spoken to you, so that when their hour comes, you may remember that I told you of them. These things I did not say to you at the beginning, because I was with you. “But now I am going to Him who sent Me; and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ “But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.

In captivity under interrogation from the evil high priest, Caiaphas, Jesus again reveals his focus is on his hope.

Matthew 26:63-66. But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest said to Him, “I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus said to him, “You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN.”

When interrogated before Pilate, again his thoughts are on his hope.

John 18:33-37. Pilate …”Are You the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”

While hanging on the cross, Jesus uttered words from Psalm 22 that foretold the event he was experiencing plus the coming Kingdom. He told the criminal hanging with him that they would be together in Paradise. Even his very last words revealed his focus was upon God and the hope. He said “into your hand I commit my spirit” quoting from Psalm 31.

Psalm 31:1-5. In You, O Yahweh, I have taken refuge; let me never be ashamed; In Your righteousness deliver me. Incline Your ear to me, rescue me quickly; be to me a rock of strength, a stronghold to save me. For You are my rock and my fortress; for Your name’s sake You will lead me and guide me. You will pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me, for You are my strength. Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have ransomed me, O Yahweh, God of truth.

In our struggles of life, we are instructed to follow his glorious example.

Hebrews 12:1-4. Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter 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. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

While enduring the suffering and the cross, Jesus did not feel sorry for himself, nor get angry, hold resentments, retaliate, or entertain any evil thought or action. No, he stayed focused on God, his deliverer and his hope. Jesus is our example.

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