It is helpful in understanding Hebrews 12:2 if we first understand Hebrews 12:1. Let’s read Hebrew 12:1-2, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 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 is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” 

Keeping in mind that the chapter and verse divisions of our Bibles are not inspired, the beginning of verse 1 appears to be referring to the men and women of faith described in Hebrews 11. Their lives continue to witness to us about what it means to be devoted to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Having read about their example, we should “lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” A weight may refer to things in our lives that are not sinful but are weighing us down and distracting us from serving the Lord. If we are honest we will admit that sin easily comes in and hinders our fellowship with the Lord. When this happens, we should do what it says in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

With the weights and sins out of the way, we are free to run the Christian race following our Lord. How do we do this? Is it by reminding ourselves of past failures? No! It is by “looking unto Jesus.” He is the author of our faith. The Greek word for author is ‘archegos’, which means ‘a chief leader’. He is also the finisher or completer of our faith. Although we admire the faithful men and women of Hebrews 11, they were all sinners who failed at times. However, we can follow the Lord Jesus without any hesitation, for He was faithful from start to finish. Therefore, He is able to help us to be faithful as well.

The Lord Jesus Himself told us what He was looking forward to after the cross as He prayed to His Father in John 17:24, “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.” After the Lord Jesus finished the work on the cross to accomplish our salvation, He asked the two on the way to Emmaus in Luke 24:26, “Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?” We see in these verses how much the Lord loves us. The anticipation of being with us someday in the glory helped Him to endure the cross and not let the shame of the cross bother him. He finished the work on the cross and is “set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” As we see in Hebrews 7:25, “He ever liveth to make intercession for them.”   He prays for us, helps us, indwells us and will someday welcome us into heaven where we will behold His glory! (161.2) (DJ)