.... my very LAST day on planet earth, here is what I would proclaim to all Christ-followers around the world (if it were possible)!!
Hebrews 12:1-2 "........ and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him ENDURED the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God."
Our Savior found no 'joy' from the scourging (whipping) he received prior to his crucifixion (Matthew 27:26, Mark 15:15, John 19:1).
He received no 'joy' from the nails being pounded into His flesh as He was being secured to the cross.
BUT... He knew that on the other side of the cross, the other side of his crucifixion - He was bringing eternal life to any and all who would embrace Him as their Savior. Eternal 'death' for them would be forever abolished and THAT knowledge brought Him the joy that kept Him moving through the horrific set of events He knew (in advance) He would be enduring. And to think He did that for us!!!
We must also keep our 'spiritual' eyes on the 'joy' that is set before us as we walk one step, one day at a time through the turbulent times in which we are living. It is because of our Savior maintaining His focus, thus obtaining His joy that we, too, will receive ours... in due time. Let us not waiver or grow weary from the battle. As our Savior pressed in to that which He knew, let us also press into Him for the strength we need to run this race until we reach the 'finish' line when our faith becomes sight... there to meet our Savior face-to-face. Then will we experience our joy... IN FULL!!
Let us herald the Good News of the Gospel as far and wide as we can while we can.
"Therefore encourage one another with these words" Thessalonians 4:18.