Why seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight…
I. Let us look at the fact here presented to us — or at THE POSITION ASSIGNED TO JESUS CHRIST. He is said to be seated "at the right hand of the throne of God." A place at the right hand of any person in authority and power is employed by the Sacred Writers to represent a position of high honour. It may be that you have a tendency to look chiefly to the Cross of Christ. Yon may be yourselves the children of sorrow, and often in affliction. Your own cross may be exceedingly heavy; it may tremendously oppress you; and your temperament and your natural disposition combining with your circumstances may lead you to look chiefly at the Cross of Christ. Believe that your Lord died and was buried; but do not keep your eyes fixed on the Cross and on the sepulchre, for He is not now on that Cross; He is not now in that sepulchre. And you in your thoughts of Christ, and in your feelings about Christ, are not to be merely crucified with Him, and dead with Him, but you must be risen with Christ, your affections being fixed on Christ as above. He dwells in the midst of the highest manifestations of Deity. He is worshipped in heaven with God — as God. His name is associated as no other name with that of Jehovah. He has Divine authority; and He has also Almighty power. Although distinct from Jehovah, He is and He appears to be one with Jehovah — one as an object of reverence, of fear, and of love — one in His administration of universal government. Thus is He seated "at the right hand of the throne of God."
II. NOW SEE THE USE WHICH WE CHRISTIANS ARE TO MAKE OF THE KNOWLEDGE THAT JESUS IS IN THIS POSITION.
1. Here is a fountain of joy from which Christians may drink sacred pleasure. Jesus is set down at the right hand of the throne of God — then His work of atonement is finished; then His sacrifice is accepted; then His humiliation is terminated; then His sorrows are for ever fled away. We joy in this for His own sake. The Cross of Christ was a real cross to Him. When He is said to suffer, He did suffer. His soul was really troubled, and His spirit was exceedingly sorrowful. And now that He wears a crown, He feels to wear a Crown. But we may joy in this also for the Church's sake — for just as Jesus carried the Cross to bless the Church, so does He wear the crown to bless the Church. And we may joy in the coronation of Jesus for the sake of our individual well-being. We who trust our Saviour have a personal connection with His Cross; and we have a personal connection with His crown. And further, we may joy in this fact for the world's sake. He has ascended on high and received gifts for men, even for the rebellious, that the Lord God may dwell among them.
2. But here, too, is a motive to patience, and much help in cherishing patience. The course of the disciple is in some respects parallel with that of the Master. Like Christ's, it is a fixed and definite course. And it is a course in which there are many hindrances to be laid aside and sorrows to be borne. But it is a course to which there is an appointed goal, and a course in which the goal as a rule may be seen. It is a course, further, which makes large demands upon patience. Hence the injunction " to run with patience the race which is set before us." But now, just see how the position of Jesus bears upon the cultivation of patience. Jesus is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Once He was running His race on this earth: now He is "set down." Now He has no need of patience — He is sitting at the right hand of the throne of God. And if you run, if you wait, if you be patient, you will one day sit down with Him on His throne, even as He is seated on His Father's throne.
3. And there is just one other thought which we would suggest to you. No forerunners helped Jesus — not one. He had not a being to look to who had run in any respect a similar course, and reached His goal — not one. There was the Father above Him, but the Father had not become man. He had not been a man of sorrows. There we angels ministering to Him, but no angels in the skies had attempted to do what Jesus had come to do.
Parallel VersesKJV: Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
WEB: Therefore let us also, seeing we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,