Pauls Footsteps #429

“By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.” Hebrews 11:3 NLT 

Footsteps #429 Many people today think we were just cast up from some primeval slime by some dimly perceived force (that, incidentally, they believe in by faith). They think that humanity, in each of its cycles, lives its little day and then passes on to nothingness. The dance of life, for all its colour and movement, finds its meaning in its inevitable finale. From there we relapse into the original nothingness from whence we came. 

Man’s telescope and technology have made us acutely aware of the vast reaches of emptiness. We have been shown how puny earth is; a mere speck in the universe circling an insignificant star. We are separated from everything else by mind-boggling cold dark distances. Secular mankind has his technological ears pointing to the heavens in the hope of a signal. What if across the infinite reaches of darkness and silence a voice should come? Would it not transform our lives? Hebrews asserts exactly that! The apostle’s first words smash the riddle and dilemma of human existence. He started in v1 by saying, “In many and various ways God spoke…” through the prophets and prophecy, through miracles and deliverance. Now in v2, we read, “He has spoken to us through His Son.” 

We have noted that the first basis of our absolute confidence is that the resurrected Jesus is our representative lawyer in the courtroom of heaven. On the basis of that salvation, we can enter the ‘rest’ of chapter 4. But now in chapters 11 and 12, there is a great cloud of witnesses. The honesty of these chapters at a superficial level could be challenged because we know the real stories of the list of heroes from history’s hall of fame. Hebrews 11 and 12 are probably the most-loved chapters of the book.  They describe the Christian life as a race in which we all participate and in which all who stay faithful will receive the reward.  They also describe the drama of Redemption as a race in which people of faith from the past persevered, despite suffering, but have not yet received the reward. That’s because the story ends with us, as well, not just them.  We are the concluding act.  The drama culminates with our entering and running the last part of the race, and with Jesus seated at the goal line at the right hand of God. He provides inspiration as well as the ultimate example of how the race is run. He is the ultimate Witness that the reward is true and that He is the Forerunner who opens the way for us (Heb. 6:19, 20; Heb. 10:19–23). When you get in ‘the race’, you don’t have to win, you can even come in last – the important thing is that you stay in the race until the end. Hebrews 11 explains that faith is confidence in God’s promises, even if we cannot see their fulfilment yet.

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