A verse that has puzzled me is Hebrews 11:39-40. “All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us.” (NLT)
Why do all the heroes mentioned in that chapter have to wait for us before they can “receive all that God promised” and “reach perfection”? Two images come to mind:
A family celebration where the father wants to wait till everyone is present before bringing out the cake and blowing out the candles.
But a relay race seems even more appropriate in the context (the next verses, 12:1-2—following an unfortunate chapter break). The people listed in chapter 11 have finished their part and handed off the baton to us. Now it’s our turn to “strip off every weight” and “run with endurance, keeping our eyes on Jesus.” The race won’t really be finished until the last runner has crossed the finish line. That’s when we’ll all receive our team trophy and “reach perfection” together. Are we cheering each other on? Are we listening to the encouragement of others along the way and keeping our eyes on our Champion there ahead of us? In the end, it will be well worth it all.
“It will be worth it all when we see Jesus; life’s trials will seem so small when we see Christ. One glimpse of His dear face all sorrows will erase. So bravely run the race till we see Christ. (by Esther Kerr Rusthoi)”