There are several reasons why this clip affects us deeply. But I think the main reason is because we ourselves want to be cheered on to make it to the end zone. I think we all say this in our hearts: “If only I had a group of people wanting me to succeed, wanting me to keep running, wanting me to not give up, instilling hope in me – I think I could make it.”
It’s a blessing to be in a church where the over-all atmosphere is hope, encouraging faith in God’s Son to persevere to the end. But Jesus is not the only one cheering the saints on: “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 (trail-blazer) 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” – Hebrews 12:1-2.
If you need some encouragement today to not give up this race, know this: Like the throng of those football players paving the way and cheering on that little boy who is fighting for his life against brain cancer, there is a massive host of Hebrews 11 witnesses who don’t want you to give up. Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Rachel, Joseph, Moses, Joshua and Caleb, Queen Esther, Ruth, Rahab, the prophets, Joseph and Mary, the mother of Jesus, Zechariah and Elizabeth – and the millions of saints who have gone on before, are all cheering you on today. And they will not celebrate until you are home with them: “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 11:39-40.
The Great Victory Dance will not take place without you. Remember today that heaven is filled with sinners saved by grace cheering you on. Remember today to fix your eyes of faith upon Jesus – the real hero on the field. Remember today to get dressed for running the race by laying aside hindrances and sin that keeps you from running well. Remember today that you are not alone. Don’t give up – You’re almost home!