Hebrews 5:7-10 & 12:1-13 ~ Instant Joy?
And no other sadness is greater that the great sorrow Jesus went through on the cross. It was a time of loud cries and tears (Hebrews 5:7) - his flesh was a picture of belonging to this sorrowful world. Jesus Christ had to be a real human being to understand what man undergoes, including sorrow and death. Luke 22 paints the image of this anguish and agony of Jesus drinking from the cup of God's wrath - He was abandoned by His own Father.
But Jesus was heard because of his reverence (Hebrews 5:7). Jesus prayed, "Not my will, but yours, be done" (Luke 22:42), demonstrating His reverent submission to the Father. His prayer was then heard and answered as He was obediently sent to the cross. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered (Hebrews 5:8). This was no easy obedience but difficult obedience to learn what it was like to suffer - Jesus fully obeyed the Father when never had He had to face God's wrath or die for others' sins.
In this process, Jesus was being made perfect (Hebrews 5:9), not in the sense that He becomes more like God (for He already was God), but in the sense of becoming the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him (Hebrews 5:9). If Jesus did not come to earth as man and died on the cross, He cannot be perfect in saving us wretched sinners. And so, Jesus was made perfect for the task of saving us. This then is not an evil will of the Father but a loving will.
It is no wonder then that Jesus is being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 5:10). "Mel" means "king" while "zedek" means "righteousness" so "Melchizedek" literally means "king of righteousness" and such is Jesus Himself who represents us to God. He is 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 (Hebrews 12:2). Jesus clearly understood "delayed joy" (as opposed to "instant joy"), which enabled Him to endure the present suffering of the cross.
We may not always understand the reason for our current suffering in this world but God assures us that he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness (Hebrews 12:10). For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it (Hebrews 12:11).
The Christian life is a marathon of lifting drooping hands, strengthening weak knees, and making straight paths (Hebrews 12:12-13) but we are not alone: we have Christ as our pioneer and it is His example that we can then follow.