Summary: Laying aside weights and sin
Laying Aside Every Weight and Sin
1Wherefore 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, 2Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
To get a thorough understanding of any verse in the bible, it is best to examine the meaning of each and every word. It seems to shed more light onto the scripture, and helps us to see exactly what God’s Word is saying to us. According to the scriptures, “death and life are in the power of the tongue,” then that means our words carry with them the power of life and death. Therefore we should always speak life, and positive. That also means that God’s Words carry the power of eternal life and eternal death. So it is crucial that we get complete understanding on every word.
In Hebrews 12:1, the following are the Greek definitions of every word that has a significant meaning.
Wherefore means consequently
Also means cumulative force
Compassed (about) means to lie all around, encircle, or enclose
So (great) means so vast as this, large, so great, so many
Witness means a witness (literally [judicially] or figuratively [generally]); by analogy a “martyr”:—martyr, record, witness.
Lay (aside) means to put away (literally or figuratively):—cast off, lay apart (aside, down), put away (off).
Every means all, any, every, the whole:—all (manner of, means)
Weight means a mass (as bending or bulging by its load), that is, burden (hindrance):—weight.
Sin means offense
Beset means well standing around, that is, (a competitor) thwarting (a racer) in every direction (figuratively of sin in general):—which doth so easily beset.
Run means to run or walk hastily (literally or figuratively):—have course, run.
Patience means cheerful (or hopeful) endurance, constancy:—enduring, patience, patient continuance (waiting).
Race means contention, fight, and contest
Set (before) means to lie before the view, that is, (figuratively) to be present (to the mind), to stand forth (as an example or reward):—be first, set before (forth).
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses
Putting all of this together we get, “Consequently we (the cumulative force) should observe that we are surrounded (encircled) and together with (enclosed) so many other legal witnesses. So many great witnesses who can judicially testify to the fact that the upcoming statements are true. Why are these people called witnesses and why is this considered a judicial matter? Sin is a transgression of the law, and the penalty for sin is death (Romans 6:23). Legally, Satan could have claimed every soul as we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).
But Thanks be to God who gave us a gift called Jesus Christ, who literally paid the penalty for our sins. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23). These witnesses are those who went on before us, and were justified by the blood of Christ, and received eternal life through him. We are surrounded and encouraged by their lives and their testimonies, and therefore we should do as they did which was to run the race.
let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us,
As Christians, we must learn to put away, and cast off every, and all burdens, hindrances, and offences that can so easily beset us. Beset means standing around. If we are standing, then we are not running, and this is a race. You can’t win a race by standing; you must be in motion. The witnesses before us can testify that if you keep running; you can finish and you can win. We must put aside everything that has the potential to stop us from running, and have us standing still in the race.
and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
We are encouraged to run hopeful, cheerful and consistently the race that is ahead of us. We are all running towards something, either heaven or hell, but we are all in a race. To prevent us from becoming faint and weary, we are encouraged in verse 2 to look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. The word “unto” means being brought out of something, and to be taken to something else. Putting this together it is saying we are being brought out of looking towards other things, other people, etc., that will cause us to stop running, and being taken to the point of looking only at Jesus. Even though he knew he would be despised, endure shame, and suffer the cross, still found joy in being able to redeem man, and now sits on the right hand of the Father. Considering all those who have ran this same race, and despite the obstacles they faced, finished the race, we ought to be able to keep our focus on Christ and do the same thing, which is to run the race.