Practicing our faith through the times of the Coronavirus

Day 26, April 8, 2020
“Fix Your Eyes On Jesus”

Hebrews chapter 12 calls us to “Fix our eyes on Jesus.” As the days of his earthly life draw to a close in this remembrance of Holy Week, we can do little else. Our eyes are fixed on Jesus because we know where he is headed.

• The readings given us this Wednesday of Holy Week fix our eyes on Jesus as he tells his disciples, “One of you is going to betray me.” (John 13:21).
• The readings given us this Wednesday of Holy Week fix our eyes on Jesus as the psalmist prays in desperation, “May those who seek my life be put to shame and confusion; may all who desire my ruin be turned back in disgrace.” (Psalm 70:2)
• The readings given us this Wednesday of Holy Week fix our eyes on Jesus as the prophet Isaiah tells of one who, “Offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting.” Isaiah 50:6)

And yet on this Wednesday of Holy Week, even as we fix our eyes on Jesus in anticipation of the painful journey that lies ahead of him, the author of Hebrews calls us to fix our eyes on Jesus because of what he has already done for us. Hebrews is not looking ahead. Hebrews is looking back. In Hebrews Jesus has accomplished his great victory on our behalf.

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus 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.” (Hebrews 12:2)

Hebrews looks back on what Jesus has done for us with a singular purpose. Looking back at what Jesus has done, looking back at what Jesus has endured, Hebrews is calling us to live a life of faith. “Consider him (Jesus) who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:3) That is a particularly timely word for us. Four weeks into isolation, quarantine, fears, and uncertainty, we are in danger of growing weary and losing heart. This is what the author of Hebrews presents to us so we will not grow weary or lose heart. “Fix your eyes on Jesus.”

You will notice that Hebrews chapter 12 follows Hebrews chapter 11, the great chapter on faith, where we remember all the ones who went before and lived faithful lives. After rehearsing all those who belong to the Hall of Fame Faithful, chapter 12 in Hebrews begins, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (Hebrews 12:1).

Now is not the time to grow weary and lose heart. Now is the time to run the race…with perseverance. How do we do that, when our resources are depleted? There is only one way to do that. “Fix your eyes on Jesus.” This is Holy Week. Jesus is making his way to the cross. As Jesus makes his journey, let us not grow weary. Let us not lose heart. Let us do the one thing that will strengthen our faith and sustain in times of trial. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus.

With the love of Christ,

Readings for the Wednesday of Holy Week: Isaiah 50:4-9; Psalm 7