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Him . . . . . in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain (archegos) of their
salvation perfect (teleioo) through sufferings".
We are back again therefore in Heb. 12: to the original theme: the need to go on
unto perfection, the suffering that is associated with it, and the example of those who
drew back unto perdition (Heb. 3: and 4:).
"Who for the joy that was set before Him." The word "for" here is anti, which
sometimes bears the meaning "instead of". This has given rise to an interpretation of the
passage to the effect that the Lord gave up the joy that was before Him, and in its stead
endured the cross. This, however, does not fit the context. The whole tenor of the epistle
in general, and the particular example here is that, because of the joy that lies ahead, we
can endure the suffering now.
That is the character of the example of Abraham and Moses, given at length in
chapter 11: For the joy set before Abraham he was content to live a pilgrim and a
stranger. For the joy set before Moses he turned his back on the treasures of Egypt. For
the joy ahead of these Hebrew believers they were exhorted to endure. In this sense the
sentence should be translated. Over and over again our problems would be solved if we
allowed the Word more way with us. If instead of giving time to speculation concerning
this word anti we were to read on a few verses we should have our answer.
"Esau, who for (anti) one morsel of meat sold his birthright." Here we have contrast.
Esau exchanged the future blessing for the present, whereas we are to follow the example
of Moses who exchanged present immunity from suffering for pleasures at the right hand
of God which are for evermore.
Apart from the passage "crucify to themselves" in Heb. 6: 6, this is the only
occurrence of the cross in Hebrews. As in the parallel epistle, Philippians, the reference
is to endurance in view of the crown or prize (Phil. 2: 8; 3: 18). In neither of these
epistles is the cross mentioned in connection with redemption or atonement. The usage is
similar to the earlier references like those of Matt. 10: 38 and 16: 24. The saying, "No
cross, no crown" exactly fits its usage. The cross is prominent in the epistle to the
Corinthians, for they were carnal. The cross is prominent in the epistle to the Galatians,
because they were being moved away from the faith. The only allusion to the cross in
Romans is in Rom. 6: 6 where the old man is dealt with. The argument of Heb. 12: is,
surely, that just as He endured the cross, despising the shame, and is now seated at the
right hand of God, so may the believer endure his cross, despise its shame (not "glory in
their shame" as Phil. 3: 19), and in God's good time enter into that better thing, by that
better resurrection, to enjoy that better and enduring substance connected with the
heavenly city, Jerusalem.
We are bid to "consider" Him Who endured such contradiction of sinners against
Himself, lest we be weary and faint. Analogia from which "consider" is taken, is
translated "proportion" (Rom. 12: 6), and here implies the act of weighing and balancing
one thing with another. It would mean considering the pros and cons of gaining the