Written by Stephen Passmore
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2
LOOKING UNTO JESUS. This should be our moment by moment practice, especially in days like ours. There could be plenty to discourage us right now, and it would be so easy for us to allow our focus to be diverted from Christ to the disturbing circumstances. But according to the writer to the Hebrews, who was addressing a group of first century Christians who were being exposed to fierce persecution, our eyes must be directed firmly and continually on Him.
Well the writer goes on to explain why.
1. He says that we are to look unto Jesus because of WHO He is (the author and finisher of our faith). He is the victorious pioneer or trailblazer of faith. He initiated our faith, but He has led His people from earliest times along the path of faith, and He did not fail them, and He will not disappoint us.
2. We are to look to Jesus because of WHAT He did (who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame). Jesus has known our experience of trials and adversity. He endured the cross, which was incomparably more difficult than anything we will go through. And Jesus triumphed, and in His strength we can triumph too.
3. We are to look to Jesus because of WHERE He reigns (and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God). Jesus’ redemptive work is complete, and now he waits for that time when every tongue will confess His lordship. But in the meantime, we take heart from the fact that our lives are not in the hands of Covid-19, but in the strong hands of Jesus, the enthroned Lord.
We are not promised an easy course in the Christian life. But the New Testament assures us that Jesus is our promised help, and therefore we must look away to Him.