Hebrews 12:2 (NKJV)
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 has sat down at the right hand of the Throne of God.
These last couple of days around Christmas are full of Him, “Who for the joy that was set before Him endured.” To the children, the manger is the focusing thought about Jesus at Christmas, to us who are older (though we are children together at Christmas-time) the Cross always stands near the manger. It is the background to every picture, invisible, but there.
In a book on early French life in Canada I found a heroic story. It is that of a French missionary to the Indians of the dense forest of Huron, who, inspired by the life of another, made a “vow of perpetual stability,” which meant the giving of his whole life to those to whom he had been sent. In speaking of this to the one who found it hard to understand, he said these unforgettable words, “Listen my friends. no man can give himself heart and soul to one thing, while in the back of his mind he cherishes a desire, a secret hope, for something very different. You know that even in worldly affairs nothing worthwhile is accomplished except by that last sacrifice, the giving of oneself altogether and finally.”
Jesus’ whole life from the manger to the cross was given fully, so that we like Jesus and the French missionary would give our whole life for the reason that we were sent.