Heroes. The word itself inspires us; it suggests a cause greater than ourselves individuals willing to make sacrifices for that cause. Over the years, the United States has recognized a number of men as heroes with the Medal of Honor. There are others, of course, who are equally deserving, even though they were citizens and not soldiers. Todd Beamer and the passengers of Flight 93 immediately come to mind, as they engaged terrorists in a literal fight to the death to prevent the White House from being destroyed on 9/11.
However, there is another class of heroes who deserve even greater accolades. They are the righteous men and women of every age of human history who have sacrificed all for God and His way. Hebrews 11 lists a number of those "Heroes of Hope;" the list reads like a "Who's Who" of the righteous: Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, the prophets, and all those not named but clearly implied by the inspired writer.
Yet, it is what the author says at the end of the chapter that is stunning. "And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect" (Heb. 11:39-40). Did you get that? We, living today, are in a better position than all those men and women! We can be heroes, just like them. Our faithfulness is the key in all of this.
Jesus Christ is the ultimate hero; he is the standard for all people to follow. In Matthew 17, when Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus on the mount, Peter exclaimed, "Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias." The text then states, "While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him" (Mt. 17:4-5). This clearly indicates the superiority of Christ over all. If we pattern our lives after the life of the Man from Galilee and His Word, we will be Heroes of Hope to a lost and dying world.