What does winning feel like?
Whenever You have ever won something – like a game, a competition, a job, a promotion, a wife – you know that the winning was costly. We know this – or at least we should know this because we know Christ, who won the world, by humbling Himself, suffering in the flesh, defeating Satan, carrying our sins, and being crushed by God’s righteous wrath in our place — for the joy that was set before Him. This means that when Jesus was flogged, He was winning. When Jesus was betrayed, He was winning. When Jesus was mocked and jeered and spat on, He was winning. When the whole world grew dark in the middle of the day and Jesus cried out and breathed His last, He was winning.
When Paul wrote his final charge to Timothy, he said, “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness” (2 Tim. 4:6-8).
So what does winning feel like? It feels like fighting, like running a race, like your whole life is being poured out as a drink offering. But there’s a way to get this terribly wrong. There’s a way for this to sound like you are doing this yourself, that you are conjuring up this energy on your own, coming up with this endurance out of your own reserves like some kind of lame Nike-Olympics false-gospel. But in another place, Paul explains, “I worked harder than all the others, but it was not me, but the grace of God which was in me” (1 Cor. 15:10).
So here the Lord sets before you the source of everything. It is not you who runs. It’s not you who fights or works. It’s Christ in You. This is what winning feels like. It’s like looking down while you’re running your heart out and realizing that you’re being carried. It’s like looking down while you’re fighting with all your might and realizing that He is the one fighting for you. It’s like looking down in the middle of a storm and realizing that you’re not sinking in the waves, that He’s holding you up because when Jesus was winning, He was winning for you.
So come and welcome to Jesus Christ.