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Looking to Christ

19 May

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in His word:

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, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who 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. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. (Hebrews 12:1-3)

Now, notice the very first thing the author says here: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,” Now, the identity of the “witnesses” he’s referring to are fairly obvious; their the people who he talked of in the previous chapter. i.e. Samson, Abram/Abraham, Jacob, and the rest. We can see this by the authors use of “therefore”: when-ever we see a “therefore”, we’re to see what it’s there for, and in this particular case, it’s to point us back to the previous chapter, where the author talks about the afore-mentioned.

But, the next part of that sentence may seem a bit confusing: “let us also lay aside every weight,” Are our memories of their stories supposed to somehow compel us to set aside “every weight” (every “weight”, meaning everything which slows us down from running towards Christ. i.e., sin)? Well, something like that, actually. Their faith should encourage our faith; should encourage us to do as Abram did, and leave behind our sin and run to Christ (or in Abram’s case, leave behind part of his family, and follow God’s directions).

You could summarize all those verses something like this: we’re to lay aside our sin because of Jesus (so that we can run to Him). We’re to run to Jesus (you run towards where-ever you’re looking). We’re to look to Jesus, and we’re to consider Jesus, and in so doing, we’ll not “grow weary or fainthearted.” The author makes it quite clear that in everything we do, we’re to be focusing on Christ. – He’s what let’s us run the metaphorical race of life.

The point being this: we should be looking towards, and “considering” Christ in everything we do, and in so doing we’ll draw, it could even be said that we’ll  run, closer to God, and the closer we grow to God, the more He’ll show Himself to us; the more we’ll have to consider of Him.

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

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5 Comments

Posted by on May 19, 2012 in Delivered Through Love

 

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5 responses to “Looking to Christ

  1. ansuyo

    May 20, 2012 at 11:25 PM

    I think this also includes those that watch your life here. Angie

     
    • Joshua Cleveland

      May 21, 2012 at 2:36 PM

      Hi Angie,

      Now, I know you know a considerable deal more than I do on the topic, but I think I have to somewhat disagree on this particular area. If you look at the wording, it says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,”. Notice the “therefore”. I believe that’s there to connect chapter eleven, with chapter twelve. At the end of chapter eleven, the author says this:

      They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated—of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect. (Hebrews 11:37-40)

      So, “therefore,” or ‘because of this’, since we’re surrounded by such a“, or “‘this’ great cloud of witnesses,” In my opinion, the “therefore” and the “such a” phrases indicate the author is referring to what he just said in chapter eleven. But I also agree with you, in that those who watch our lives are also witnesses. I personally just don’t think that’s who the author is talking about here.

      Joshua

       
  2. Jennifer N. Buczynski

    May 19, 2012 at 11:39 PM

    Great post! Might I add that besides sin, we can also be weighted down by distraction! We must also push that kind of hindrance aside too 🙂

     
    • Joshua Cleveland

      May 21, 2012 at 2:13 PM

      Hey Jennifer,

      I agree with you, we can also be weighed down by distractions. I was mainly thinking of sin when I wrote this, just because it was the first thing that came to mind. But yes, certainly we can also be weighed down by distractions, thank you for that contribution! 🙂

      Joshua

       

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