Walking in Jesus’ steps

So then let’s also run the race that is laid out in front of us, since we have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us. Let’s throw off any extra baggage, get rid of the sin that trips us up, 2 and fix our eyes on Jesus, faith’s pioneer and perfecter. He endured the cross, ignoring the shame, for the sake of the joy that was laid out in front of him, and sat down at the right side of God’s throne. ~Heb. 12:2-2 (CEB)

“When we stand ready to suffer for our faith, we are standing where Jesus stood- and where he stands even now. He stands with one foot in heaven and the other upon earth, his hands and side scarred by nails and spear. He stands at the very heart of human history, human suffering, human death, anguish, and tragedy.

But he stands there like a rock! He stands there having endured everything- every human suffering in thought and body. And he says to us, ‘This is where you must stand, not in a dreamland of faith that deceives you into thinking you can float into heaven on a billowy cloud. No, if ever you are to enter heaven, you will do so at the cost of serving God at the vortex of human suffering and tragedy, and your only earthly reward will be that people curse you for it.’

In offering this to you, Jesus is merely suggesting what he already has endured. Saint Paul points to this truth when he suggests that we ‘run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God’ (Heb. 12:1-2)

So it is! If we follow Jesus closely enough we may experience all that he endured. Do you remember the poignant question that he put to his disciples, ‘Are you prepared to drink of the cup from which I shall drink?’ ‘Yes,’ the giddy disciples responded. And so they did.

This must be our answer also. Then when suffering and sacrifice are required of us, we must respond like Isaiah. ‘Whom shall I send?’ inquired the Lord, ‘Here!’ called Isaiah, ‘Here I am, send me.’ Like a sheep among wolves. Like the Son of God among broken humanity, send me, O Lord, send me! ~Norman Shawchuck

Help me this day O Lord to discern what race is marked out before me. Give me the strength to fulfill my promise to go out into this world for You. Surround me with Your peace and power all day long and help me to find rest at the end of this day. Amen.

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