What Kind of Race Is It?
by Buck Jacobs
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,”
Hebrews 12:1 NKJV
If we were planning to run a race, and planning to train together to do it, one of the first things we might do is talk together about how we might enter the race, what we might need to do to condition ourselves, and what we hoped to gain by running it. We would be greatly helped if we made a plan, maybe even a detailed plan of how we would train and set goals or criteria to measure our training progress towards our goal. With a realistic plan we could prepare with a realistic hope for success or finishing well as we would define it.
Our scripture to begin this study tells us that as Christ followers we are running a “race that is set before us” surrounded by a great crowd. That’s exciting isn’t it? Who do you suppose the crowd is and what do you think they might be doing?
Let’s start our study by discussing who they are and what we visualize they might be doing. Don’t be concerned, we’re not going outside of scripture or try to make it say what it doesn’t, this is just an exercise to kick off our study and maybe to get us thinking more deeply about the race we are running which we are calling “The Race of Our Lives”. Who is in the “cloud of witnesses” and what are they doing? Oh yeah, let’s also ponder who “set” the race for us? Think about this in light of Ephesians 2:10. Stop and read it before we move on. “For we are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works That He prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Press on.