Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 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.
It is one thing to learn something from a text book or newspaper article. It is quite another to learn from many people of good character – which is the point of this encouragement. The prophets, apostles, martyrs, servants, Sunday school teachers, pastors, friends, godly women and men are the ones who have consistently witnessed to the goodness, favor, ways and calling of God. They surround us, urging us on in the life of faithfulness.
Their call is not to look at themselves, nor even to use their example as an end in itself. Their call is to look to Jesus as the founder and perfecter of our faith. Jesus’ whole life was one of absolute trust and faith in God. He gave himself totally to doing the Father’s will because he believed that his Father in heaven was good and just. He entrusted himself perfectly to God against all odds.
This, for me, is the ultimate work of Christ for our redemption: He suffered death and abandonment by the Father without abandoning faith. His final cries were not of forlorn disillusionment. Jesus yearned for God’s presence in the face of his abandonment. He declared that he had finished the work that he had been sent to do. He yielded his spirit to the Father’s care.
Having suffered faithfully, Jesus is now exalted. He is where he belongs at the right hand of God and in the hearts of believers, of whom I am one. I want to fix my eyes on him and embrace his ways as fully as I am able.