The writer of the book of Hebrews states something that is very significant about these characters known as the Elders. It is mentioned that “And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise.” (Heb 11:39). So what their faith was able to offer them was just a good report and the most important thing which is the promise eluded them because it went ahead to state that “God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.” (Heb 11:40). This is very striking because it was stated that “they without us should not be made perfect” is therefore important to find out those who are us and find out what made them to be the ones that competed the perfection of the elders.
It is interesting to know that the faith of the elders only granted them the ability to obtain a good report which implies that they didn’t operate on the platform of the finished (perfected) faith, which is the reason for them not being perfect. Their platform was that they operated or hooked on the ‘substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen’ but the ‘us’ didn’t operate on something hoped for and on evidence of something not seen; the ‘us’ have real experience of the substance and the evidence.
Let’s consider what Apostle John wrote in his first epistle “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” (1Jn 1-3).
Deducing from the verses above, it shows that the ‘us’ was not hoping for the substance and the evidence is not something not seen but has appeared. Therefore, no wonder in the book Hebrews 12, the writer in verse 2 admonishes his reader that “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” This is entailing that the substance and evidence is not a thing to hope for and not seen, but has come as the initiator of the faith of the elders and the completer of our faith. Therefore, we don’t look at what the elders have done or their reports, but we gawk on Jesus who is the initiator and perfecta of their faith and ours.
Obviously, they obtained a good report but our faith in Christ perfected the steps which they took, so we have entered into perfect faith because the arrival of the substance means the completion of what they hoped for and evidence they didn’t see. Hence the suggestions to look away from them who are witnesses and focus on the substance that is the finisher or perfecta of our faith. No wonder Apostle Paul said that “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”(Gal 2:20).
The faith of the Son of God is the faith that Jesus had and went to fulfill the demand for the redemption of man, which is the faith we all live by. Here, is interesting to know that this is also the faith the elders had, which is in what Jesus Christ will do, in fulfilling the demand for the redemption of man and we also have faith in what He has done therefore completing and making them perfect because what they hoped for we confirmed in Christ.