"CONSIDER HIM"--THEN FOLLOW
"Consider Him who endured such contradiction of sinners
against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in
your minds."--Hebrews 12:3.
THE Apostle had just been pointing out the faithfulness of our Lord Jesus. He had reminded the Church of the shame and ignominy which the Master had endured for the great joy set before Him by the Heavenly Father. He declares Jesus to be the Author and Finisher of our faith. He then urges that in our trials and difficulties as children of God we remember what extreme experiences in suffering the Master endured--such contradiction, such opposition, of sinners against Himself--opposition to His doctrines, to everything that He did. This opposition to Jesus continued until finally it resulted in His murder.
The Apostle says to the Church, "Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin," as Jesus did. As a matter of fact, we really suffer very little and give up very little. At most we have but little life, as members of the fallen race, and it stretches out for only a brief span. We have very little to consecrate to God. And when that little is going we should consider how insignificant it is, and what great things the Master had--not merely the perfections that He had in His earthly life, but also what He had previously, and how, in obedience to the Divine [R5684 : page 143] will, He humbled Himself and left His glory to become a man--and then humbled Himself still further, unto death, "even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted [raised to the highest position--Strong] Him, and given Him a name which is above every name."
We should be glad to walk in His footsteps, to endure the same experiences, to drink whatever the Father shall pour out for us in our cup--His cup. As we consider thus our dear Master's experiences and faithfulness, it makes our experiences seem only light afflictions, but for a moment, and working out "for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:17,18.) For let us remember that we are "called... to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast."--2 Thessalonians 2:14,15.