Hebrews 12:1-2 “Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God's throne.” (HCSB)
Imagine if a glass jar were able to speak, what would you expect it to talk about? If you could ask this jar to explain to you what brings it the most satisfaction, what do you suppose would be its answer? We find rest and peace in the finished work of Christ, not in our outward piety, the perception of others…It wouldn't say that flying through the air brings it the most joy, it wouldn't say that swimming in an open ocean is what fulfills its longings! The jar would say that the way it's fulfilled is when it is used for its purpose, to carry and store away whatever its owner pleases.
This world is lost in a search and struggle for satisfaction and fulfillment, but in its search for these things the world loses what it was created to be. Like the jar, man has a purpose and that purpose was given by God Himself. Man was made in the image of its Creator, to bask in His glory and to wade in His love. Man was not made to find his own meaning and purpose and so when that becomes the driving force of our lives, we become as jars in the ocean.
As Hebrews twelve points out, it is Christ that is the source and perfecter of our faith, not ourselves. We find rest and peace in the finished work of Christ, not in our outward piety, the perception of others, and the praise of the people close to us. It is by grace that we have been saved, by a free gift that redeems us perfectly.
The reason we can run the race with endurance is because of Jesus and the example that He sets before us. It is Christ enduring the cross and sitting at the right hand of God's throne that gives us the encouragement to go forward. But how amazing is the thought that Christ endured the cross with joy! We often endure tough circumstances for others with a sour attitude or without our heart in it. The agony of the cross that set us free, that led captives into liberty, and that filled The Father's heart with joy was done with joy by the God-man Jesus.