The admonition to run the race of our lives with perseverance draws inspiration from the success stories of Hebrews 11 faith heroes. It also looks intently at how Jesus fulfilled HIS earthly mission. Jesus had a big WHY for enduring the cross. Perhaps we can find our WHY in His WHY.
What was the joy set before Christ, that enabled Him to endure the cross and get to the finish line of His purpose on earth? Some have said He saw us, His bride, through the ages and considered us worthy of the price and pain. This is true. We are His treasured people, bought with His precious blood; a royal priesthood belonging to God. However, Jesus saw a lot more than His future bride. He had a multi-layered prize for which He RAN.
Jesus went all the way to the END of His race because, firstly, He foresaw the Father’s approval. He saw His Father’s “Well done” and the joy His obedience will produce in heaven. He endured the cross to please the Father Whom He loved. For this reason, He prayed: “I have glorified You on the earth. I have FINISHED the work which You have given Me to do” (John 17:4). If your vision is given by God, then pleasing the Father by completing it is an eternal motivation.
Jesus also saw the glory to which He would be restored; the glory He once had with the Father. Words cannot describe the glory Christ had with the Father before the beginning of time and the ultimate sacrifice of becoming flesh to redeem mankind. This glory would again be His if He finished HIS race. And He did! Now He sits at the right of the Father and has been given a name that is above every other name – Jesus! For this reason, Jesus refused to quit in the face of extreme pressure.
Moreover, Jesus saw the joy of a new beginning – His disciples, the seed of the Church. He saw Pentecost and a united people who would carry His word to the nations. Oh, how He loved His disciples, the ones who walked and dined with Him; those who received His word and would continue His mandate in the earth! The joy of their transformation through His suffering caused Him to endure the pain of the cross.
In the same vein, Jesus saw you and I, those who will come to faith through the sacrifice of the early disciples. He saw everyone who will believe through the ages and chose to lay down His life. He sanctified Himself that we may be truly sanctified (John 17:19).
So, the WHY of Christ was fourfold. He RAN to please the Father; He RAN to regain eternal glory; He RAN for the sake of the early Church; He also RAN for His Bride of the last days. Wow!
You can find your WHY in His WHY. I’m sure it will be multi-layered as well. Whatever else you do, RUN to please the Father. RUN for the benefit and blessing of others. RUN for the sake of the coming generations. RUN also for the glory prepared for you before the foundations of the earth.
My brothers and sisters, discover your WHY and… RUN!