– Hebrews 12:1
Laying Aside the Weight
I used to run track in high school and we had these ankle weights that allowed us to build up our leg muscles, but when it came time to compete, we took the weights off because these weights would slow us down. Wearing them, we wouldn’t have a chance to win the race. Sin has the same effect in our running the race with perseverance, so the author of Hebrews tells us to “lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Heb 12:1).
Running with Endurance
The author of Hebrews has already told us to lay aside every weight of sin that slows us down and to run the race with endurance. We can’t endure long in our race if we’re carrying the weight of sin, so focus on putting it all aside and running with endurance, and even when you fall down (as we all do), get back up and keep on running.
Fixing our eyes on Jesus
If we are running a race, we don’t keep looking behind us at what’s in the past, but rather, we keep our eyes on the finish line. If we are continually looking back, we’ll not see where we’re going, so look toward the finish line. That’s where Jesus is waiting for us. Just keep focusing on the kingdom by fixing your eyes on the King of that kingdom, Jesus Christ. If you do, you’ll know the race is not in vain.
The Joy that’s Coming
The author of Hebrews tells us that Jesus is “the founder and perfecter of our faith” and He was able to endure the shame and suffering “for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb 12:2). If you keep eternity in mind, you’ll focus on the joy that’s coming and not on the pain of today.
The author of Hebrews is trying to encourage the Hebrew Christians by reminding them (and us) to “run with perseverance the race marked out for us,” and that means we must put aside the weight of sins so that we can run with endurance, and fix our eyes on Jesus and the joy that is coming. There is no other way to run a race.