‘Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Hebrews 12:2)
The word ‘author’ comes from the Greek ‘archegos’ and only appears four times in the scriptures: Acts 3:15, Acts 5:31, Hebrews 2:10 and Hebrews 12:2. The word has been translated in different versions of the Bible and includes prince, captain, leader and founder. It is a word so heavy in meaning that lots of different words can be used to describe it. Today, we will focus on three of these descriptions: author, pioneer and captain.
Jesus is the author of our faith. In literary terms the author is the one who determines the story, how characters are introduced and interact and how the story ends. Before creation, the trinity had already planned how humanity would be redeemed.
In Ephesians 2:8-10 we read that our faith is a gift of God. Jesus is also the finisher of our faith. Our faith is also of Christ, not just the start but the ending. It is ongoing. This is a great encouragement to us to know our faith is of God Himself.
In Hebrews 12:1 we read that those who have gone before us cheer us on as well as Jesus Christ, who is the ultimate encourager. He has ascended, further glorified, and now resides in heaven in His resurrection body. The joy that was set before Jesus is also the joy He sets before us. Christ is watching over us, just as is the great cloud of witnesses. We are to run race by looking to Jesus – He’s not only watching us, but watching us from the finishing post. Distractions for us tend to come from the side or from within. We are to lay aside every weight, every sin. Jesus alone is the one we are to look to along the race of life.
Author can also be translated as pioneer – a pathfinder or a trail blazer, someone who goes first. We see this in 1 Corinthians 15. As our pioneer Jesus has gone first. He has experienced first what we will experience.
Jesus became our captain through being our pioneer and leading our way. Jesus is the perfect model that we are to follow but He also makes it possible for us to follow Him. Jesus had to suffer on our behalf to make our salvation complete and perfect. He left nothing to chance, it doesn’t depend on our works. As He blazed the trail He endured the cross, obtaining salvation for His people. Jesus is to be revered as our prince.
As our pioneer Jesus shows us that death is not the end – it’s the path to glory. True followers of Christ will suffer. We shouldn’t be surprised when it happens. Following in the footsteps of the pioneer, Jesus wants us to be able to face the trials ahead. We panic when something happens that distresses us. Yet God watches over us. At a whistle from God, Satan scurries away. We will all face troubles in our lives. Every day, God watches us, He is always there, looking after His children.
As He continues to lead us, He does so as a captain. We are to be looking unto Jesus as we set out on this race of life. There is also a military connotation. We need God’s guidance in our individual lives but also as a group. Jesus will lead His troops home. Jesus’ wounds were necessary to make the victory for us. We gain entry into heaven because He laid down His life for us. His death resulted in victory – resurrection and salvation for all His people.
Jesus is also a model of obedience – He followed His Father’s will. He has ascended. He is now exalted for what He has done for His people. He has returned to a position of supremacy. His earthly ministry is complete, yet His work goes on. He now sits in glory and knows His earthly work is complete. He planned all that came about before time. He is our captain, leading us forward in our Christian lives, the author of our faith and our salvation.