For the Jewish Christians, it is crucial that they recall the Old Testament saints in how they displayed true faith which led them to radical obedience as it was written in chapter 11 of the book of Hebrews. The author wrote that Christians are surrounded a “great cloud of witnesses” (v.1) who are the brothers and sisters in Christ who have faithfully finished their course. Their legacy of faith and display of radical obedience to God is something that a Christian should not just admire but to follow as well.
Their display of courageous and faithful obedience stems from their belief in the certain promises of God that is of higher value than anything else. By having a great certainty in God’s promises, Christians would face trials and turn away from sins which seeks to drag them away from finishing the race which God sets out for His children. Additionally, the author reminded the Hebrews to put aside any additional weights or sins that can burden the race even more besides the trials of the race.
Picture this, a man who is practicing for a marathon and bringing all sorts of gear that he thinks might help him train which are good. However, the gear that the man brings will eventually exhaust him from running consistently. On the same token, the author writes that one should be aware of when we are drawn to certain weight or sin by Satan who can tailor these weights so craftily for us to be attached to. Consequently, we become exhausted in the race as a Christian and falter from fixing our eyes upon the heavenly prize that God has in store for His children. Therefore, the author calls the reader to be vigilant to stubborn sins and be self-conscious as to who do we resort to in our helplessness when we do face our stubborn sins or trials. It is the call for the Christian to pursue a Christ seeking life rather than a comfort seeking life.
In the Christ seeking life, Christians find the one solution to the exhaustion from the weights of the world in Christ who will provide true rest. The true rest can only be given as one takes up the yoke that is light (Matt.11:28-30). When one considers Christ and do His will, it is then that one can find true rest in Him. However, the path will have trials and suffering to be faced but take courage fellow Christians as Christ has walked the path before us on the cross. As we look to Christ (v.3), we can be rest assured that we will not grow fainthearted in following Christ.
Although we can feel the burden and weight of the world weighing on us as we run, we should continue live a racer’s mindset who wants to give the best on the track. The race in which we run is to run towards the final inheritance from God who will grant us eternal life with Him. Let us remember that the life in which live is not a sprint but a call to endurance or a race of perseverance and endurance. We are called to endure from the moment we received the true salvation in Christ which goes beyond a momentary emotional experience as the race will last a lifetime until death. Along the road, may we always remember that the struggles we face in the present lifetime is momentary compared to the eternal glory that is set before us. Not only so, but we can also take comfort as well to know that the discipline of the Father is meant for our good (v.6) to conform to the image of Christ. Above all, may we answer the two calls of Christian which are to lay aside our earthly burdens and to endure the race that God has set out for us faithfully while looking to Christ our Lord and Savior.