That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Paul is expressing the desire of every Christian’s heart, which is to know Jesus and have a deeper and stronger relationship with Him. To deepen our understanding and knowledge of Christ and His sufferings. To learn why the creator of the universe gave so much for us that we may spend eternity with Him. Because it is through this knowledge and the faith we have in Jesus, strengthened by the Holy Spirit and humbled by our own trials, that we prepare our hearts to better serve those in need and those who are suffering. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, our sins are crucified once and for all times with Him on the Cross of Calvary and we share in His resurrection as we are made, a new creation in Christ Jesus because of our faith in Him.
With our salvation, we receive a new spirit, replacing our spirit which was dead in it’s trespasses and sins. And it’s this new spirit which gives us our desires for the things of God. And it’s the new spirit given to us by God, which creates in us the desire to know and be with Jesus. And it’s this desire, which causes us to eagerly push forward as athletes running a race. We strive to reach for the goal, that ultimate prize, which is the very moment in time when we first see Jesus face to face. And it’s our expectation of this time that we strive to win the race set before us. We are strengthened by the power of His resurrection. For it is our proof that Jesus is who He claimed to be, that is God in the flesh. Jesus is the living God of Heaven, who stepped out of eternity, added humanity to His divinity in order to redeem us from our sins by His blood shed for us.