Hebrews 12:2, ‘…looking to Jesus, the originator and perfector of faith.’
One of the surest ways to descend into a labyrinth of confusion, apprehension, and spiritual weakness is to make our own faith the object of our scrutiny.
‘Am I really trusting?’ ‘Is my faith sincere?’ ‘Is my faith strong enough?’ etc. Questions like those have their place (2 Cor.13:5), but if they become a consistent pattern, we will find ourselves more and more depending *on our faith* rather than on the *object* of our faith. Just as a rope affixed to nothing has no power to hold us up, so too faith in and of itself has no power to sustain us.
Faith is not made to be looked *at*, it is made to look *by*…It does not exist to point toward itself, but to another, namely, to the ‘Originator and Perfector of faith,’ the crucified and risen Jesus Christ. Would I live by faith? Would I run the race in faith? Would I see my faith endure to the end? Then let me not look at Faith herself, but at the One to whom she points…let me fix the eyes of my soul again and again upon the One who reigns from the Cross, who opens His heart in Love, freely pouring out the Power and Purity and Life of God of the heads of His enemies so that they might become His Beloved People.
As with created reality, so with Faith—Jesus Christ is its beginning and its end, its origin and its goal, its source and its completion. Consider what that means…
Faith originates in Christ: both in that the sight of Him by the Spirit births faith in our hearts, and in that human faith toward God only exists because God has—from before the foundation of the world—bound Himself to humanity in the flesh of the Son and so enabled Man to know God, a knowing that is by faith.
Faith is perfected in Christ: both in that the embrace of the crucified and risen Jesus as the revelation of the unseen God—the beatific vision itself—is the end and goal of all faith, and because Christ alone—by wholly entrusting Himself to the Father as a human being in His accursed death on the cross, and being raised up from that death in the resurrection—flawlessly exercises and perfectly consummates human faith toward God.
So, in this picture, Faith is pictured as a veiled woman. She is veiled because she does not want the saint to look upon her, but upon Christ, to whom she fervently and continually points. The saint’s eye-line follows Faith’s outstretched hand and looks upon the pierced side of the slain and risen Christ (Risen both in that His five wounds have been transfigured to the crown of His glory, and that He is framed within a circle that represents the opened mouth of the tomb, with the dark circle on the left side of the image representing the stone of the tomb itself, the sphere of death in which we presently live).
Faith points away from herself and toward the Pierced One who is risen (John 19:37, 20:27-28), and there reveals YHWH in His majesty, the Lord high and lifted up in His glory, the King enthroned in Sovereign Love, the Judge exacting perfect justice, the Savior redeeming His own, the Shepherd calling His sheep by name…and there reveals the Only True God whom to know is to live (John 17:3).