“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” (Hebrews 6:19-20, NKJV)
The word “forerunner”, used here in the Book of Hebrews, is a nautical term. The particular word, prodromos, is one that appears nowhere else in Scripture, but has to do with a familiar scene in the ancient world. Louis Talbot explains:
“The Greek harbors were often cut off from the sea by sandbars, over which the larger ships dared not pass till the full tide came in. Therefore, a lighter vessel, a prodromos or “forerunner”, took the anchor and dropped it in the harbor. From that moment the ship was safe from the storm, although it had to wait for the tide before it could enter the harbor. The entrance of the small vessel into the harbor, the forerunner carrying the ship’s anchor, was the pledge that the ship would safely enter the harbor when the tide was full. And because Christ, our “forerunner,” has entered heaven itself, having torn asunder everything that separates the redeemed sinner from the very presence of God, He Himself is the Pledge that we, too, shall one day enter the harbor of our souls and the very presence of God in the New Jerusalem”. (Talbot’s Studies in the Epistle to the Hebrews, p 23.)
Likewise, there are other accounts of some early ships having a powerful swimmer on board who was called the forerunner. In similar situations as noted above, the forerunner would swim ashore carrying a very light strong coil of twine attached to a heavy cable on board. Once on shore, the forerunner would pull the much heaver cable or rope to shore and secure it. Again, the ship was safe until the tide would allow the it to enter the harbor.
A beautiful old hymn declares:
The song of my soul, since the Lord made me whole,
Has been the old story so blest,
Of Jesus, who’ll save whosoever will have
A home in the “Haven of Rest”.
(“Haven of Rest” – Henry Gilmore, 1890)
Jesus Is Our Forerunner!
~ Brother Roy