Point Man of Our Salvation

Yesterday at church, Pastor Joe used Hebrews 2:10 as one of his core verses.  “For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” (KJV).  Instead of translating the Greek word ἀρχηγὸν as “Captain,” however, Pastor Joe suggested that the proper translation of the word is “Point man” or leader.  This lines up with Strong’s Greek Concordance, suggesting that ἀρχηγὸν is a “file-leader who pioneers the way for others to follow.”

U.S. Army Soldiers from Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 502 Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, take point during an operation in south Baghdad

In military parlance, a point man or point unit is the leading soldier or unit advancing through hostile or unsecured territory.  They lead the way into battle and are often the unit with the highest casualties.  To say that Jesus is our point man means that he leads the way for us into battle.  Consequently he is the one who died for us to lead us into eternal life.

I have to admit I got stuck on this analogy and missed a good part of the sermon that came after.  Imagine Jesus as the point man leading us into battle against the forces of evil.  Think about Jesus as a sergeant, training us and molding us into Christian soldiers.  The sergeant teaches the soldier to obey orders instantly and without thinking so he can be an effective fighter in the heat of battle.  God is our commanding officer, moving the troops to best effect in the war against Satan.

“Victory” by Ron DiCianni

Although I usually avoid martial imagery in the Christian life, there are times I feel like a soldier in God’s army.  Times when I know I am being sent into a battle as God’s soldier.  There are battles that I think we, as Christians, must win if we do not want the evil ones to declare victory.  Too often we stand back and think that, as long as our personal salvation is secured, we don’t have to fight.  But Jesus Christ is our point man and he leads the way.  If we are faithful, we will follow.

I’m a soldier – see my banner –
And the battles that I fight are mostly ones my eyes can’t see.

I know I’m a soldier in his army.
And I know I’m a servant of the Lord.
But at times the battle grows so old I can hardly lift my head.
And this homesick soldier longs to go back home.
I’m clinging to the nail-scarred hands.
I’ll serve him till the final stand.
I’ll wait for his command.

And I’ll wake up when that morning breaks eternal, bright, and fair.
And the King of Glory comes back from that kingdom over there.
With a host all dressed in spotless white filling up the eastern sky.
Coming home there’ll be a big parade as we march right through the eastern gate
And that New Jerusalem band begins to play . . .

“Homesick Soldier” by Bob Farrell