Jesus: The Greatest Starter and Closer

I was listening to a message by Steven Furtick, Senior Pastor Elevation Church, from this past weekend. He was covering the 12th chapter of Hebrews. A very powerful chapter in the Bible, arguably the staple of the New Testament. He was covering the first three verses in that chapter and while I was listening a few things about Jesus stood out to me in the second verse.

Hebrews 12:2 says this “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” I really want to focus on the first part of that verse “Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.” There are two things that God has revealed to me about that statement. I would like to share them with you.

I am a huge baseball fanatic. I played baseball growing up from little league to college and even had some professional workouts. In baseball you have different types of pitchers. You have starters, long relievers, relievers, set-up men, and closers. When Hebrews says Jesus is the author of our faith, than Jesus is the greatest starter there is. What determines who is a mediocre starter or hall of fame starter is wins, loses, innings pitched, and if he finishes what he started. Paul tells us that we should have confidence in the truth that if Jesus starts something  He is going to complete it (See Philippians 1:6). How awesome is that. I want to encourage you that Jesus knows our beginning from our end (See Ecclesiastes 3:11) and He won’t start anything in you that He’s not intending to finish. He has already won, He always gets the victory, and He always goes the distance.

The author of Hebrews doesn’t stop there, but goes on to say that Jesus is the perfecter of our faith. In other words, not only is Jesus the starter of our faith but He is also the closer of our faith as well. Arguably the greatest closer to ever live is Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees. Now being born and raised in Boston, it kills me to say that but you have to give credit where credit is due. The one thing that boggles my mind and fascinates me about Rivera is that he holds the all-time saves record and he did it predominately with one pitch. Every batter that ever faced him knew what he was going to throw, the cut fastball, but they couldn’t do anything about it. What makes an incredible closer is the ability to come in at the end of the game, sometimes with runners on base in a jam in order to clean up someone else’s mess, and close out the ball game in every save opportunity without blowing it. Jesus is the greatest closer of all-time. God sent Jesus (See John 3:16) while we were in an impossible jam, to clean up our mess, and close out the game. Jesus came that we might have life abundantly, to the fullest, that we might live large (See John 10:10). He threw one pitch, the pitch of grace. He has closed out every game. He has never blown a save opportunity. And He  is still saving lives today.

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