"... Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame ..." Hebrews 12:2
Joy? Some places in the Bible words just leap off the page, grab your collar, and pull you down close. This is one of those places for me. I've always found this nugget fascinating - to call the excruciating pain, suffering, humiliation, and rejection of the cross ... JOY?
We try to compare the pain and the objective to be gained, but Jesus is really not about comparisons. He is about contrast. "In Him was light ..." - light and darkness are contrasts. The examples of His life and what He said are a contrast to what we think life is. Sin has so corrupted us. We settle for life on a level so far below what was intended that true life can only be seen as a contrast. You just can't compare yourself or anyone else to Jesus. He simply stands so far apart.
The love of the Father shown in Jesus makes the best love of man look like hate - contrast, not comparison. In Hebrews 12:2, the joy of fulfilling the Father's mission for Him made the very real pain so insignificant it could only be thought of in terms of contrast. He puts things in their right perspective. Jesus shows us the joy of doing the Father's will as a diamond reducing our sin-distorted fears to peanuts.
Begin to see in Jesus contrasts, not comparisons, and see what a difference it makes.