“Prodomos,” used to describe Jesus, is usually translated “forerunner” and would have had a picturesque meaning for the people of Jesus day. The harbor of Alexandria was very difficult to approach. When the great corn ships came into it, a little pilot boat was sent out to guide them in. It went before them, and they followed it as it led them along the channel to safe waters. That pilot boat was called the prodomos. In the Roman army the prodomoi were the reconnaissance troops. They went ahead of the main body of the army to blaze the trail and ensure that it was safe for the rest of the troops to follow.
These two things illustrate what Jesus is saying about himself in this passage. He goes first, to make it safe for those who follow. He blazed the way to heaven and to God that we might follow in his steps.