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Photo British Athletics

"Lord, I don't ask that I should win, but please, please don't let me finish behind Akabusi."

Innocent Egbunike's prayer at the 1988 Olympics

Jesus number 1

Jesus has been found worthy of greater honour. Hebrews 3:3

The writer of the letter to the Hebrews develops his argument in a Jewish context, that Jesus is superior to Moses, angels, ideologies, personalities or attractions. The same is equally true in our era.

In the previous chapter, the writer refers to Jesus as “crowned with glory and honour” (2:9), “the pioneer of salvation” (2:10) and the one who is “bringing many sons and daughters to glory” (2:10).

In a Jewish context, it was important for the writer to show that Jesus was the fulfilment of the Old Testament, that he was following in the footsteps of Moses yet superior. He needed too to explain God’s plan of salvation, that the death of Jesus was no tragic accident but an essential part of the plan to bring us to eternal salvation.

Knowing that God loves us and that Jesus has died for us sets us free to compete in our sport – or in whatever we do – not to prove our value, but to use the gifts God has given us for his glory.

Graham Kendrick wrote a song: “I have put my trust in a crucified man”. A ludicrous idea but gloriously and eternally true. Take a moment to thank God that you have also put your trust in Him and about the amazing privileges of knowing him.

Take a moment too to pray for friends for whom trusting in a crucified man still seems ludicrous.

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