Hebrews 12:2 | Hana Mower
“looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2
As we run with endurance through this life, we are to look forward, a runner doesn’t look behind him at other racers or past failures it causes him to stumble and lose good form. Even if someone is able to look back and still finish strong, do not think that precious time won’t be wasted or rewards forfeited, God knows the heart of man. Attaining Christlikeness is our goal, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification” (1 Thessalonians 4:3a), that is why we look to Jesus, to imitate Him. We can only imitate by observing the person or thing, but it’s not true imitation unless we practice the things we’ve learned. If you know little to nothing about the one you look to, how can you effectively imitate their behavior? You may misunderstand character or take actions out of context. So just in three words, “looking to Jesus”, we have a summons to be diligent in our study of the Christ, learning in depth who He is and what He has done.
The founder, Jesus Christ, is our “chief leader” as Strong’s Concordance describes it. Our whole faith rests on the fact of Jesus dying on the cross for our sins and three days later rising again, He is Lord. He founded our faith because He is our faith, therefore we should be found in Him. “and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith” (Philippians 3:9).
“and perfecter of our faith”
He lived out faith perfectly and He is perfecting us (also, completing, making us whole) as we grow in our faith. We look to Christ because He is our example, He always had His eyes on the things unseen; “who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” The joy was to come, it was set before Him. Knowing He’d be seated, ruling and reigning on the throne of God and having the joy of overcoming the world and reconciling His people to Himself, He endured the cross. He knew what was to come and had faith it would come to be. The momentary affliction of crucifixion did not cause Him to give in to the temptation of giving up, nor did He sink into a pit of despair, Christ was faithful to the death.
2 Corinthians 4:13-18 goes right along with Hebrews 12:2;
“13 But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed, therefore I spoke,” we also believe, therefore we also speak,14 knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you. 15 For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God.
16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”