Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great crowd of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Yesterday we considered running the Christian race with perseverance for our good and for the good of others, and today we see how we can achieve this goal.
The answer is simple. It is to fix our eyes on Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith.
The athlete begins the classic 100m sprint with the finishing tape in view and as he powers down the track that is where his eye is fixed. He looks neither to the right or to the left and certainly not behind, for it is the goal that is all important. This 100m sprint is physically demanding as in a different way are the distance events. They require months of intensive training and then total commitment on the day.
The Christian race is no different except that it is long distance rather than a sprint. The Olympic competitor has to keep his or her focus which (and please understand I am NOT an athlete) may be on a different goal at each part of the race whereas in the Christian race at every stage the focus must be Jesus.
We need to remember that Jesus came with a single purpose and throughout his brief ministry, the cross is where his eye was fixed. It was shameful but he saw the joy that would result so he endured the cross for the climax of the race to the place of honour at the right hand of the throne of God.
So Christian reader today fix your eyes on Jesus, for having run the way of the cross he is absolutely able to be your guide to that same destination which he has now reached. The training may be demanding, the race may be hard, the distractions many but he is sufficient.
Race well today!