Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up.Hebrews 12:1 – 2 NLT
And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus,
the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.
Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
Jesus is the pioneer of our faith -our trailblazer – the one who initiates our faith! He is our chief example, chief leader of the faith. He leads, we follow!
And He perfects, completes the work He has begun! Jesus brings all of His own to His intended goal — confirming us to the end, blameless, acceptable to God! Jesus will present us without fault before God’s glorious presence!
“[Christ], in the pre-eminence of His faith,Joseph Thayer
far surpassed the examples commemorated in Hebrews 11.
Our directions here are, to look objectively at our Lord Jesus,
the File-Leader of the column of believers,
those who had perfect faith to look at Him
just as objectively as we would look at Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham,
or any of the other great cloud of witnesses.”
As the pioneer of our faith, Jesus completes His assignment, His race, as He utters, “It is finished,” on the cross. And then He is exalted in His ascension to sit at the right hand of the Father, a place of honor. For the glory set before Him, He endured the cross and bore our shame. Jesus disarmed the powers and authorities of this present world, making a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. And He did all of this because He loves us.
As we run we can look back and see how Jesus ran His raceL. Richards
(“Author or Pioneer”).
When we look ahead we can see His exaltation
(“Finisher or Perfecter”).
He is our example as starter and finisher.
The previous chapter of Hebrews, chapter 11, is often called the Hall of Faith. The author of Hebrews enumerates many saints that had gone before, and how they expressed their saving faith. Then in Hebrews 12, the author clarifies – while those people did demonstrate faith – they are not our guide, they are not our examples, they are not on whom we fix our eyes! NO! Instead, we fix our eyes on Jesus!
The men and women of Hebrews 11 are the cloud that witnesses to us, “God can be trusted! Put your faith in His Word and keep running the race!” When you read the Old Testament, your faith should grow, for the account shows what God did in and through people who dared to trust His promises. When you read the Gospels, you see the greatest example of endurance in Jesus Christ.Warren Wiersbe
Jesus is the Shining Star, Our Pioneer,
the Preeminent One, the Supreme Witness!
On Him, we can depend!
O soul are you weary and troubled?Helen H. Lemmel, 1922
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior
And life more abundant and free
Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there
Over us sin no more hath dominion
For more than conquerors we are
His word shall not fail you, He promised
Believe Him and all will be well
Then go to a world that is dying
His perfect salvation to tell
And turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace
Today, fix your eyes on Jesus! Call Him to mind often. Allow yourself to rejoice in Him as you thank Him – for He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus!