January 14, 2007
Hebrews 12:1-4


   "For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest you be weary and faint in your minds. You have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin" (Heb. 12:3-4).
   As we look away from the heros of the faith listed in chapter 11 unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of faith, and contemplate running our race, we are further admonished to "consider" or analyze Him, the One Who endured so very much. Was there ever a runner like unto Him?
   By how much was His offering "better than" the blood of Abel's sacrifice? And by how much does "the glory of his inheritance in the saints" exceed that of Noah? How much more did He "please God" than the witness of Enoch and by how much did His salvation exceed that of Noah saving  house? By how much more was He the "friend" of God than Abraham? As God's "only begotten Son," by how much more was He dearly beloved than Isaac? How much did the fulness of His blessing "concerning things to come" exceed that of Jacob and Esau?
   By how much will Christ's reign in righteousness exceed Joseph's reign over Egypt and the world? Though "like unto Moses," who was the greater Prophet? By how much do the Lord's "doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil" exceed the deeds of Gideon, David, and all the rest? More than all others was He not "the Man of sorrows, acquainted with grief" yet doing always only those things that pleased the Father?
   Surely He endured as none other, refusing deliverance, He refused to save Himself and come down from the cross! Little wonder that He has attained unto a "better resurrection to glory" where He waits until His return? He is indeed "altogether lovely...the chiefest among ten thousand." Surely "there is none like unto Thee, O Lord...there is none like unto Thee"(Jer. 10:6-7). Yet how stunning to read, "though he were a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which he suffered" and then "being made perfect, He became the Author of eternal salvation" to all the believers. (Heb. 5:8). How true of Him, faith's Leader and Perfecter!
   What a contrast, "For you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as unto sons, 'My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when you are rebuked by Him...' For whom the Lord loves He chastens" (12:5). What honor, that we are called to run in His path!


Ivan L. Burgener