Striving Towards the Finish Line!
John 19:28–37 (HCSB)
“After this, when Jesus knew that everything was now accomplished that the Scripture might be fulfilled, He said, “I’m thirsty!” A jar full of sour wine was sitting there; so they fixed a sponge full of sour wine on hyssop and held it up to His mouth.
When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” Then bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.
Since it was the preparation day, the Jews did not want the bodies to remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a special day). They requested that Pilate have the men’s legs broken and that their bodies be taken away. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man and of the other one who had been crucified with Him. When they came to Jesus, they did not break His legs since they saw that He was already dead. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out. He who saw this has testified so that you also may believe. His testimony is true, and he knows he is telling the truth. For these things happened so that the Scripture would be fulfilled: Not one of His bones will be broken. Also, another Scripture says: They will look at the One they pierced. “
If you have never noticed in the New Testament the use of particular writers, writing about finishing the race. During that time games was popular where running was a main event. Hence the use of that as a simile. We still see this today in the 21st century from elementary to high school, colleges, and even in our Olympic sports. From smooth surfaces to cross country runners, each runner will strive for the same goal. To finish the race at the finish line. There is a sense of accomplishment and if you finish within the first three spots you will even receive a memento to remember this accomplishment. If you ever watch a runner it is never an easy race, there are days, months, and years involved in training and practicing to prepare for that certain race. They look for any advantage to gain over their opponents and the goal is still the same.
Within the Bible we can see certain races that was ran. From Noah building the Arc, Moses leading the Israelites, Joshua in the various wars, King David, Jonah, and even into the New Testament with Paul, the twelve apostles and yes, even Jesus. Jesus had a race to win and as He came to earth 100% man and 100% deity, Jesus had to run and survive the race. Jesus began in a manger, and it was not long before HE started His race. Being baptized by John the Baptist, to teaching in the synagogues and the picking the twelve and attempting to teach them even though He knew one would betray Him. To clearing the temples twice, and then the persecution leading to the cross, we can see Jesus didn’t have a perfect race. While He enjoyed part of the race there were the times He had to run the rough terrain all while keeping His eyes on the prize, that finish line.
As Christians we are not excluded from this race. Upon acceptance of Christ as our Savior we will experience a season of victory, happiness, and excitement. At some point though we also will need to run the rough terrain with the finish line in our minds. Obviously, our finish line is heaven. Too often along our race we will see other runners on the side, and so many times we run on past neglecting them. Those who are tiered resting on the sides of the path need our help. To stop and pick them up and help them until they can catch their breath and can begin running on their own again. Sometimes, we may find others on the sidelines wondering what we are doing and again we may have a tendency to continue on our path neglecting them. Again, we as Christians need to stop and take time with those individuals and explain what we are doing and why. There are times when we as runners will need help from other runners to help us to regain strength so we can continue our race. See, this is a team sport, we cannot neglect those who are struggling, unknowing, or be ashamed when we are too weak to continue. We must keep running. With each day that passes we are closer to finishing our race but in the meantime we are to continue running. Times will be tough and the terrain rough, but we must persevere because that is what each Biblical hero did.
I encourage you today if you are struggling to slide pride to the side and ask for help. If you are not sure why we are running the race, ask someone why they are running, and if you are running make sure to keep your eyes open for those resting on the side.
If you want to accept Jesus Christ into your life, simply bow your head and repeat these words from the heart,
“Dear God I know I’m a sinner, I know I am not where I want to be, and I want your forgiveness! I believe that Jesus died on the cross to pay the price for my sins and rose again and is alive today!
Please wash me clean from all sin, shame, and guilt, come into my life Jesus to be my Lord and Savior. I ask this in your name Jesus.
*Next find yourself a Bible believing church where there are real people with real problems who are not afraid to admit that. And that they know how to take these real problems to God.
*Take time to read from the Bible, if you want, you can start with the Gospel of John and then the book of Romans in the New Testament.
 The Holy Bible: Holman Christian Standard Version. Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers, 2009.