Christians do not walk alone in the race of life. We run with our contemporaries and are supported by a cloud of witnesses. Thank God, for life is too hard to be lived alone.
In his famous work, A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens told the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserly businessman who learned the true meaning of Christmas. Three important characters in the transformation of Scrooge from sinner to saint were the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Christmas Future.
The book of Hebrews is written by a Jewish believer to several Jewish attendees at a Christian church in the first century, some of whom followed Jesus and others who probably did not. Due to increasing persecution, the Jews in this church seemed to be wavering in their commitment to the Lord. The purpose was to encourage these people to renew their Christian commitment. In Hebrews 11 the writer reminded his readers of some of the greatest men and women in Hebrew history, noting that they completed their life-race in service to God, and reassuring his audience that they would as well. Hebrews 12 remarked that these heroes of old form a great crowd of witnesses which would help contemporary saints stay faithful to the Lord. The focus of the race is Jesus Christ, the length is our life, and the plan is to finish together.