The trailblazer, Jesus Christ , is the subject of these verses. This example comes from the Olympic games so recognized by all peoples of this time. There were two types of service, passive and active. As with the Lord, our race is marked out, it is set beforehand. This makes our lives more interesting when we recognize the Lord has beforehand set out our race!! These, being the “cloud of witnesses” set before us, we are compassed about surrounded, set about by proper limits and directions. These witnesses are both the word of God and sacrificial examples that gave their all for the cause. There is no one “looking over the balconies of Heaven” watching our lives, as some have taught. We can never offend some faithful one who has gone on before by sinning away their good name nor will will we put in agony some loved one who is caused to watch our direction, be it good or bad!! The watchwords of our journey must be faith and patience!! Christians have more examples than any who had just been mentioned in the previous chapter, but particularly Christ Jesus our Lord!! This being true, we can gaze upon, aphouontes, Jesus because He is the trailblazing pioneer, archegon, the One who brings faith to completion, teleioten. He set an example for all His brethren by enduring the agony and suffering of crucifixion, discounting the shamefulness of a criminal execution. He had set His gaze on the joys of the resurrection and His eternal role as High Priest at the side of the Ancient of Days!! We are asked to carefully examine and re-emphasize the example set by Jesus in His endurance of the verbal hostility and abuse, antilogian, of sinful men. The perfect tense of the verb “endured” stresses the abiding results of His endurance. It is not just a matter of historic interest; it is significant for all believers. Careful consideration of Jesus endurance of persecution has the power to encourage and keep we who are gradually dropping out of the race when things get rough. How could this be said of Christ had He been only half committed to dieing at Calvary? How could His brethren, who are suppose to defend His name, claim faith in a quitter, if in fact Jesus ever considered backing out of the agreement with God the Father? Remember the warning: “Having done all, STAND.” Ephesians 6:14 When Christ met obstacles and frustrations in His journey, He did not throw up His hands and quit, He ENDURED!! Remember—the sword was thrust into His abdomen, not His back!!
The Jewish Christians to whom the epistle of Hebrews was written were reminded that even though they had “resisted” (antikatestete-stood against) the sin of unbelief because of their identification with Christ, they had not yet been asked to die while struggling, antagonizomenoi, wrestling against, the temptation to apostatize. Jesus and the Old Covenant saints are reminders to all Christians that is possible to endure such persecution even to the point of dying IF Christ is at your side. The eternal nature of the reward is far superior to anything that can be gained by “giving up in the struggle.” To continue living in the present age at the expense of forsaking Christ and His eternal kingdom is to squander the greatest treasure for a mere pittance!! “To gain the world one can lose his soul!!” The “end” of His race brought joy, peace, comfort and a seat at the right hand of God!! Nothing passes between earth and heaven but by Him, He does all that is done, and “He ever liveth to make intercession for the saints.”!! Hebrews 7:25 We must set Christ continually before us as an example, our advantage would be never weary or discouraged. It is amazing what fresh supplies of encouragement and faith can do for all of us, for it was He who said: “if we suffer with Him, we shall also reign with Him.” Where will our journey take us?? A quitter never wins and a winner never quits!! is the banner on the helmet worn by the faithful child of God!!
The fact that some of the Jewish Christians who were recipients of this letter may have been thinking about giving up their confession of Jesus the Messiah, indicates they had lost sight of a confession Jesus as Messiah had made before Pontius Pilate: “I give you charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession.” 1 Timothy 6:13
What kind of larceny does some malcontent have in his heart who stands in the pulpit and charges Jesus Christ with quitting: “let this cup pass, from Me.” This would have been SOME example for the apostle Paul to have had when he stood before Nero, he would have had to be ashamed of his Captain!!