Hebrews 12:1-2 The Race Of Faith-The Beginning Of Covenantal Succession.
This begins the final section of our author’s covenant renewal document-Succession. The previous chapter highlighted the witnesses of the old covenant’s previous administrations, all who are witnesses making up the Witnesses section of this new covenant renewal, but also those who were called upon in the launch of the covenant lawsuit against old covenant apostates who rejected the Messiah, and new covenant renewal. It is with these witnesses that our author once again employs the hortatory subjunctive, including himself with his audience, to follow forward from their testimony, to lay hold of the promises.
We, also with them, must “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” (v. 1 Cf. I Cor. 9:24). This is covenantal succession. This is how our faith is carried forward into the future. “Among the burdens to be thrown off are fear that shrinks back in the face of suffering (10:38, 39), bitter discouragement that defiles others through doubt (v. 15), and sensuality that seeks immediate gratification (v. 16)” (NGSB p. 1953). We go forward by no other means than the word spoken, and our vision clearly set upon “Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith” (v. 2a Cf. Lk. 24:25-26).*
The Lord Himself, “who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame,” also “sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (v. 2 Cf. Ps. 110). This faith is not what is originated by us or that we are the authors of-Jesus is. Likewise, having begun by the Lord, He is the one to also finish or perfect it. There was no doubt that shame was associated with the accursed death on the cross. However, Jesus saw through this to the ultimate victory over sin and death. Like the great cloud of witnesses mentioned in chapter eleven, and our author and his contemporaries, we also must look unto Jesus (Cf. 2:9).
* This might also be translated as “originator and perfecter” of our faith (NGSB p. 1953).