Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, Hebrews 12:1 ESV
The great cloud of witnesses spoken of here in Hebrews 12:1 is all those great people of faith listed in chapter eleven. The writer of Hebrews is encouraging his readers to get rid of all the burdens that hold us down and run the race before us.
When you think about it runners have as little as possible in the way of burdens when they compete. They wear the lightest clothing and shoes they can find in order to be free to run as fast and as long as they can. When we think of marathon runners in particular, they would never make the distance if they carried too heavy a burden. They would not have the endurance to finish the race let alone win it.
The writer is wanting his readers to see that if they want to finish the race and win their crown they will need spiritual endurance. The biggest hindrance to spiritual endurance is the weight of sin. He is encouraging his readers to put away the sins in their lives that are holding them down.
We all have certain sinful behaviors that hold us back in our spiritual race. They are slowing us down and causing us to fall behind. Today wold be a good day to take inventory of what our sin burdens might be and ask forgiveness for them and strength to overcome them. Jesus is waiting at the finish line to welcome us to victory in Him.
That great cloud of witnesses that went before us kept their faith and endured lets not hold onto anything hindering us in our pursuit of the goal.
© 2012 Leo J. Woodman