Agonizomai: Heb 12 - 03 - Christ - Endurance Embodied on Our Behalf

Monday, May 03, 2010

Heb 12 - 03 - Christ - Endurance Embodied on Our Behalf

Heb 12 - 03 - Christ - Endurance Embodied on Our Behalf


Heb 12:3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.

The Hebrew believers were indeed rejected on every side. To many of the unbelieving Jews they were regarded as apostates, heretics, traitors, outcasts, pariahs. To the pagans they were troublesome, suspicious, anti-social trouble makers and rebels against the emperor. They wouldn’t play nice. They refused to just "get along" with everybody by having a live and let live approach to religion. They would not approve of the idolatry of other gods and this inflexibility was one of the most damning things of all. They could have their Christ but they could not insist that He alone was Lord.

Hence the need for endurance. Hence the need to look to Christ and not their circumstances. To look to Him and not to the unjust attitudes of those who did not receive the love of the truth. And a part of their endurance was to do the impossible. It was to not grow weary or fainthearted in the faith. It was not to weary of well doing. It was to do good to all men, especially the household of faith. It was to preach Christ and show their faith by their works.

But note again, it was not to be endured by mere human determination. It was to be endured by looking to Jesus and His sufferings. The suffering of Christ was, lest we forget, the bearing of the consequences of sin. Not His, but ours. The final consequence was death. And this was endured under the wrath of God. God is angry about sin. He is filled with righteous indignation and holy rage against it. But Christ bore the sins of His people in His body on the cross and, in exchange, gave them His righteousness, which the Father imputed to them.

Understanding endurance in these terms will serve to understand the nature of the resistance to the sin of unbelief and ultimate apostasy, which is manifested in a lack of endurance. The topic of that resistance is broached in the next verses.



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