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Here in America and around the world we love to cheer on our favorite sports heroes. Consider the yearly Olympic competitions, which began in ancient Greece. Paul and other New Testament writers liked to use these games as a way to illustrate the challenges of Christian living.
In the letter to the Hebrews, we have a wonderful picture in which all the heroes of faith who have gone on before have finished their course. They are now seen in the bleachers and through their testimonies are cheering on the living who are now at center stage. We are encouraged to likewise run the race with patience, looking unto Jesus, who has already crossed the finished line, and waits there for us.
Just like the Olympic runner, we are to rid ourselves of every thing that can slow us down or hinder us from finishing the race. With Jesus as our goal, we see every hindrance and sin as an obstacle to entering into the fullness of life that He has offered us.
His work is finished. He faced the Cross and came out on the other side. Now we must take up our personal crosses, deny ourselves and follow Him to the victory that awaits us, which is secure because He has already won it for us!
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God”