Monday, October 8, 2007

In the Steps of the Pioneer

In 1492, Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue.

Christopher Columbus is certainly one of the giants of history. Others had come to the shores of the Americas in the centuries before he set sail in 1492, but Columbus is the one we recognize as the pioneer whose "discovery" led to the great exodus to the New World. It was the cision and determination of this famed explorer that helped expel the fears, superstitions, and limited thinking of the Middle Ages.

A pioneer is someone who leads a people or a nation or a world to a new place, whether it be a land, knowledge, or identity. Pioneers go where no one has tread before and opens up trails and vistas and realities that were only dreamed of before their labors. Pioneers make possible that which was once dismissed as impossible. Where would the world be without the likes of Christopher Columbus?

Jesus is called a pioneer by the writer of Hebrews. The title is first given to Jesus in chapter 2 or this great book along with a quotation from Psalm 8.

Psalm 8 speaks of mankind with very lofty terms--God says that man is the pinnacle of his creation, he has "crowned them (mankind) with glory and honor" (v. 5). Yet, the reality of the moment is much different: this glorious image of man has become tarnished by sin, and man is not now what God made him to be at the beginning.

The point made by the Hebrew writer is that Jesus is a pioneer in the sense that he has, through his atonement, restored faithful mankind to the glorious beings God created. Jesus, in his labor, has shown us the way to our Father. He has trod the path. Jesus, in his coming, dying, and raising, has opened up for us a new trail and vista and reality. let us follow our Pioneer to the grand and glorious New World that stands before us.