We Christians are told time and again to keep our eyes on Jesus. Paul, in his letter to the Hebrews is the first to instruct us to do so. Fix our eyes on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith. And then the apostle goes on to describe the crucified Christ. He says that Jesus endured that shame and suffering that we might not grow weary and lose heart. And that Jesus experienced that pain in anticipation of “the joy that lay before him.” That’s our joy, too, as Christians.
I was pondering today the directive to keep our eyes on Jesus. There are other facets of the Lord that we can focus on in addition to the Crucifixion. There are other times in His life that could give us courage and inspiration as we carry the burdens of this earthly existence.
We can can gaze upon Jesus in the manger as a helpless infant. Or maybe we observe Him with His mother at the wedding feast at Cana and the first miracle of Jesus’ public ministry. We can fix our eyes upon Him as He lies sleeping, undisturbed, in the boat as the wind and waves rise up around the disciples on the sea; or perhaps we fix our eyes upon Jesus as He walks on the water in another storm and we learn, as Peter did, how crucial looking at the Lord is during troubling times. We can also look upon Christ as He raises a little girl back to life, or a friend from the grave. We can see Him flipping the tables of the moneychangers in the Temple in the first and most perfect example of righteous anger. Or perhaps we watch as Jesus places a young child before them and tells the crowd to come to God as a little child. We should be that trusting, that guileless, when approaching the One who loves us more than anyone. We can look on in amazement as Mary Magdalene greets Him in the garden after His Resurrection. The most joyous moment in history, to my mind, thus far.
How blessed we are to have so many actual moments in time in which to contemplate the Lord, to look upon Him in glorious adoration and praise. Pick an occasion in Scripture where we meet Jesus and rejoice, find hope. Everlasting hope.
We can never lose hope. And we must remember the grace God bestows upon us for such a time as this. Whatever our trials, no matter how betrayed or battered we may feel, fix our eyes on Jesus. We should pick a time in His life on earth to give us comfort and strength, and know that He is with us and He knows our joy and our pain.