‘You were running a good race. Who cut in on you?’ This could well have been the question asked of Elise Christie following her heart-breaking exit from the 2018 Olympic 500m short track speed-skating final. Having set a new Olympic record in the quarter finals she was poised to take the gold she missed out on in Sochi four years ago. But it wasn’t to be. On the final bend Christie was leaning over, hand resting on the ice for balance, when a competitor’s skate flicked her hand away sending her crashing into the barrier and out of the race.
But the question was not addressed by a reporter to Christie, but rather by the Apostle Paul writing 2,000 years ago to followers of Christ. He asked them, ‘Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?’
While Christie devoted years of her life and sacrificed so much to reach her goal, only to be denied at the last minute, Paul’s point to Christians is that no matter how hard they work and no matter what sacrifices they make they will never be able to earn eternal life. The ‘truth’ that has been knocked from under them is the good news that eternal life is the gift of God made freely available in Jesus.