I have heard and read that verse so many times that I can quote it in my sleep. Yet, it wasn't until recently that a part of that passage jumped out at me. Referring to Jesus, the Bible says "who for the joy that was set before HIM" (emphasis mine). I had always read the words, but in my mind I was thinking of the joy that was set before us as Christians. What joy is set before Christ? After all, He left a place of perfect peace and joy to come and die on a cruel cross for our sins. Now, He is in Heaven again, but if that's the joy this verse is speaking of, why would He have left Heaven in the first place?
I believe that the joy spoken of here is the joy of knowing that He purchased our salvation and that, if we've accepted that payment, we will spend all eternity with Him. We are the joy that was set before Him. He is looking forward to spending eternity with us just as we are looking forward to spending it with Him. I don't know about you, but that new revelation has made this passage far more precious to me. Jesus is waiting for me with open arms and a huge smile on His face. The eternal celebration is imminent. Will you be there?