II HEBREWS 23
JESUS, THE PIONEER AND PERFECTER OF OUR FAITH
The first three verses of Chapter 12 point us to Jesus and call Him the “Pioneer and Perfecter of our faith”. They briefly note that He “endured the Cross…and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God”. The incredible meaning of these words demand that we take some time to study and soak up the wonders they offer to us. You see, it is for people like you and me that He did all of this. And, when He returned to His Father, the two of them, now One for all eternity, are ready and willing to give us their Holy Spirit to help, strengthen, forgive and save us, if we place our trust in them and make then the constant companion of our life.
First we need to realize who Jesus was. Many years ago my mother and my father combined to produce another human being. They called that being their “son”. God, who is the Creator of all things, projected from Himself another being and called that being His Son. I was the product of a mother and a father, but God was the sole progenitor of Jesus and so Jesus was all God. John calls him “God’s Word”. According to His prayer in John 17, He shared the glory with God “before the world began”. So it was His Son, a part of God Himself, that God sent to earth to demonstrate His love for His creature man. But all of this would be in vain if man did not believe the sacrifice made for him, and that the One who died on the Cross was in reality God’s only Son. So faith is the key.
You may be a good soldier and keep all the rules, but if you do not believe in the love which caused God to make the sacrifice, then all your religious effort is in vain.
As the Pioneer and Perfecter of our faith, Jesus promised His disciples that He would be with them always. This is the gift of the Holy Spirit which Peter promised on Pentecost would be given to all who truly accepted Him. It was that Spirit of God which He promised in Amos to pour out on all men. It is God’s presence with us in the person of His Son, whom we must believe in and respond to in our daily lives. That is why Paul said, “Pray without ceasing”. Be in constant communication with Jesus, who is our constant companion. Jesus promised to be with any who gather in His name. That means He will be present to help us, but only if we acknowledge Him and strive to always behave “in His name”, or as He would direct us to act. That is what “gathering in His name” means. But if you maintain a personal relationship with Him it applies to you. He is always present, but only when we acknowledge Him and seek His guidance will He be our guide and protector.
I think all of this must be understood by any who read these first few verses of Hebrews chapter 12, if they are to get the full power of the message he is trying to convey. It is based upon these truths that the writer urges us so strongly to “run with perseverance the race that is set before us”, and to “fix our eyes on Jesus, the Pioneer and Perfecter of our faith”. It is also both the reason and the power by which we overcome the sins which so easily entangle us in the daily quest to follow Him. Jesus and His Father, in the person of The Holy Spirit,
are present to bless us…if we will let it. The decision is up to us.