The Captain of Our Salvation
by John D. Morris, Ph.D.
“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. 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.” (Hebrews 2:9-10)
Christ is referred to in this passage as the captain of our salvation. The word translated captain implies one who is first in line, the beginning, or the originator. So Christ is discovered to be the first in line of an endless procession of the saints of all ages resurrected from the grave and marching to the ultimate realization of their salvation. He is truly “the first born among many brethren” (Romans 8:29). “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept” (1 Corinthians 15:20).
The word finds usage only three other times in the New Testament, each within a resurrection and glorification context. Peter, addressing the people of Israel, said that they had “killed the Prince [originator] of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses” (Acts 3:15). And later, “the God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince [leader] and a Saviour” (Acts 5:30-31). As a result of what our “Captain” has done, we should be “looking unto Jesus the author [same word] 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” (Hebrews 12:2).
The only way we could ever share in His glory is for Him to suffer and die. “Both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren” (Hebrews 2:11). JDM