“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.”
The writer of Hebrews, in chapter 11, had listed a entourage of note-worthy saints who, according to this verse were “a huge crowd of witnesses”. So, as if to run a race, we’re told to strip off every weight, every hinderance–everything that would slow us down, so we can run our race with endurance.
Every runner knows you don’t run a race in your street shoes, in a coat or with training weights on–you take off anything that would slow you down or tangle you up. This writer includes, “especially the sin that so easily trips us up.” Sin–anything that separates us from God, but in this case, pet sins-sins that present abnormal temptation to us and over which we normally trip. He says take them off, just like you would a coat.
Most importantly, the writer of Hebrews tells us to lock eyes with Jesus-to keep our eyes on Him. Every runner knows that if you focus on the runner behind you, you’ll trip and fall or at the very least, set out of your lane. No, every runner knows to focus on the finish line! Jesus is our finish line! He IS the prize! He’s also our starting point-“the champion who initiates and perfects our faith”-our faith’s originator or pioneer and its finisher or perfector!
Every temptation and sin that we face has already been conquored by Jesus! He did this “because of the joy awaiting him” Furthermore, “He endured the cross, disregarding its shame.” Just as Jesus focused on His goal while enduring the cross, so should we focus on Him while enduring our race!
Just like Jesus’ prize was the joy of being “seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne” (vs 2), so ours is to be to seated next to Him in Heaven (Eph 2:6), all at that being at God’s right hand in a place of honor (vs 2)!
Run your race with purpose! Run it with a goal in mind! Run it with Jesus as your prize and as your example!
Think about it!