“…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2
We have an endurance culture in our society, committed to athletic agony in pursuit victory, or in most cases, simply bragging rights. The goal may be breaking the ribbon at the finish of the Iron Man, or affixing yet another sticker on the rear window. Many in this mode seek the proud feeling of having logged more miles than any mere mortal could conceive, in the morning, and still having bounce in the step at night. Jesus did what he did not “for” anything, because he already had everything. No, he put the joy aside to take on the cross. In a way, it’s like this. It’s a beautiful sunny Saturday morning that could be spent fishing or at the beach or in a lawn chair on the patio enjoying the breeze. Instead you go out and run a half marathon, or ride 100 miles in the hills. You don’t have to put yourself through such agony, but the inner voices say you’ll be proud of yourself if you do. Jesus had it all but exchanged it to endure the shame of the cross. Not for a sticker or tee shirt, but for us. Why is his feat so important to us? Why do we need the kind of faith he perfected? Because the race we run has no end. Life is not logged on a Saturday morning.