fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.Hebrews 12:2(NASB)
As soldiers of the Cross, we are called to live by faith like so many in that great list of Old Testament saints whose exploits were recorded in Hebrews 11. They were men and women who trusted the Lord despite the terrible circumstances many of them had to face, but as we move into Chapter 12, that great cloud of witnesses is replaced by one wonderful Witness - the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus is the supreme Witness, for He is the Son of the Most High through Whom Almighty God now speaks. He is the Mediator of a new and a better covenant and by example and position, He is the Alpha and Omega of our faith. Jesus is the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, the Centre and Circumference - the Author and Finisher of all that we are.
Jesus is the anointed of God, and it was to Jesus that the Father directed our attention when His voice thundered on the holy mount, "This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased, Hear HIM – listen to HIM - look to Him." And in this verse we are instructed keep on looking to HIM. We are to fix our eyes on Jesus, the Saviour of our soul and Perfecter of our faith. For the joy that was set before Him, He endured the Cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God's grace.
It is also Jesus to Whom the indwelling Spirit of God directs our gaze, and it is Jesus Who demands our worship and praise, our adoration and grateful thanks – for just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness so that all who looked upon that bronze serpent would live, so Jesus Christ, our blessed Saviour, was lifted up on the Cross of Calvary so that all who look to Him would be saved by grace through faith and have forgiveness of sins and everlasting life.
In this passage, we are exhorted to look away from all things that hinder or halt our spiritual growth and to turn our gaze trustingly, intently, and purposefully toward the lovely Lord Jesus. We are to look to Him with the spiritual eye of faith, for it is well-pleasing to the Father that we gaze on His beloved Son Who loved us and gave Himself for us.
We are to look to His shed blood for salvation and partake of His body which was broken for us. We are to look to His earthly life as the most beautiful example of a living sacrifice that was submitted to the Holy Spirit. We are to look to the Man Whose life was lived in spirit and truth – a life that only did those things He heard from the Father - a life that was governed by God, in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Christ lived a life Whose joy and delight was to do the will of His Father in heaven – a life that was prepared to say in the Garden of Gethsemane: "Thy will not Mine be done." His was a life that suffered the intense pain and ignominy of the Cross for the eternal joy that lay ahead of His life of sorrow and pain. Jesus was a Man Who knew that the crown of glory would not be gained without the cruel Cross.
Let us fix our gaze unswervingly upon the Lord Jesus, our Prince and Leader in the faith, and the Author and Finisher of our faith. He started a good work in each of our lives when we trusted Him as Saviour and He has returned to heaven to prepare a place for us with a promise to award us a heavenly prize – an eternal inheritance that is being kept for us in heaven.
For the overwhelming joy which lay before Him, the Lord Jesus patiently endured the Cross, looking with contempt upon its shame, and afterwards returned to heaven where He sat down on His Father's throne. Today He is seated at the right hand of the Father, interceding for us.
The day is fast approaching when the trumpet will sound and the Lord Jesus will come in the clouds to take us to be with Himself forever – but until that day, let us keep on looking unto Jesus the Author and Perfecter of our faith – Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the Cross, despising the shame, and is seated today at the right hand of the throne of God.
I just want to thank You, dear Father, for Your grace and mercy in sending the Lord Jesus Christ Who loves me and died for me and is the beginning and the completer of my faith. Help me to take my eyes off the things that detract from Him, including myself... and may I keep the focus of my gaze ever looking to Him. Thank You for His life example and His patient endurance in the face of the Cross and make me more like Him, day by day. In His name I pray, AMEN.
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