Face To Face

May 26, 2011
by John Stuart

Hebrews 12:2 – Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (NIV)

Years ago, I visited a famous Roman Catholic basilica in Spain. It sat on a high hill, and there were many steps leading up to it. It was a beautiful medieval building, and I was impressed by the architecture on the outside. As I approached the vast wooden entrance doors, I wondered what it would look like on the inside.

When I stepped into the massive sanctuary, I was both shocked and inspired. Instead of a high cathedral-like structure, I suddenly realized that I was in a very dark anteroom, where I was confronted by a spot-lit statue of a bloody Christ on the cross. I was almost face-to-face with the statue, and because it was so totally unexpected, I was absolutely breathless. The image of Jesus was staring at me directly, and I was stunned. I felt two things at the same time: an overwhelming pity for Christ's suffering and complete shame for my sins which crucified Him. It was both an awe-full and wonderful spiritual moment. I will never forget it as long as I live.

When the writer of Hebrews encourages us to fix our eyes upon Jesus, he is trying to get us to focus on Christ as our Saviour. The world has many distractions, and when we lose our attention on Jesus, we empty our spirits and weaken our souls. The strength of our faith in Christ depends upon how much time we actually pray to Him and ponder His ways. If as Christians we are too busy to do this, then we are just too busy. We need to shed some of the dross that distracts us from fixing our eyes upon Jesus and begin living our lives according to His love.

So the challenge for us today is this: when are we going to make time to focus on Jesus?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we complicate our lives with trivial matters and miss many opportunities to increase our awareness of Your Spirit in the world. Help us to appreciate the time You grant us as a daily gift, and use it to draw closer to You, Your words, and Your ways. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

John Stuart <traqair@aol.com>
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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