By Faith – Looking to Jesus
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith,… [Heb 12:1-2a]
This “Therefore” is an important one! It connects us back to Heb 11, the record of the Old Testament faithful that concludes with 11:39-40: “And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.” “Therefore we also,…” The “we” in 12:1 is us, New Testament saints, that God has provided “something better” [11:40].
We live by faith in a better fulfilled “promise” in the Cross of Calvary. And while the Old Testament saints have too been “made perfect” in the better blood shed on the Cross, they didn’t receive that work until after they died. These all died in faith and “did not receive the promise” during their lives of faith. But we, New Testament saints, have it better as we sojourn here with the unveiled glory of God shining into our lives in the power of the Holy Spirit. The better blood has rent the veil apart and entered us in the Holy of Holies from where we can now live this life of faith daily.
“Therefore,…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily snares us,” i.e., let us lay aside self, “and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.”
Our better life of faith is likened to a marathon. We run until He brings us home to the finish line. But until then we lay aside self and continue to look to Jesus, who writes [authors] and completes [finishes] our faith. As one commentator put it, “faith is directional.”
Look to Jesus, direct your whole toward His Person in heaven, behind the veil, within the Holy of Holies. He has made the way; He beckons you in. Worship and pray without ceasing. Inundate yourself in His Word. And remain under His covering of fellowship.
Run this marathon with eyes fixed upon Him, and faith will increase and endure in this temporal world.