Christ - Our Precursor
For reading & meditation: Hebrews 6
"... Jesus, who went before us ..." (v. 20)
Out of all the aspects of truth that surround the fact of our Lord's ascension, one of the greatest is surely this - Christ is our Precursor. A precursor is really a forerunner - an advance runner - and that is precisely the term which our text for today applies to the climactic ministry of our ascended Lord. The NIV translates the word prodromos (forerunner) thus: "who went before us." That translation, in my opinion, is not nearly as appealing as that found in other versions, where the word forerunner is actually used. "Forerunner" brings to mind a picture of our Lord as a celestial outrider "bringing many sons to glory" (Heb. 2:10), and reminds us of a petition in the great high priestly prayer: Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory ..." (John 17:24). Henry Longfellow, in his Golden Legend, put it like this: When Christ ascended Triumphantly, from star to star, He left the gates of heaven ajar! Much as I like Longfellow, I have to disagree. Our Lord left the gates of heaven not just "ajar" but wide open. One of the creeds expresses it more effectively: "When Thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death, Thou didst open the kingdom of heaven to all believers." Whatever the future holds for us, we who are Christ's can be sure of this: our Lord has ascended into heaven. And so, too, shall we.
O Father, I see that not only was there an ascension in the life of Your Son, but there is to be one in mine too. According to Your Word, I am to be "caught up in the clouds" and to be with You forever. Lord Jesus, come quickly. Amen.
For further study:
John 17; John 17; Galatians 4:7; 1 Corinthians 15:39-44
1. What does being sons make us?
2. What do we enter into through death?