Secrets. Everybody loves a good secret, right. Some cannot keep secrets. Some secrets should never be kept. Do you know THE secret? You say, the secret to what? Well, really it is the secret to just about anything we face in our lives.
Take a moment and read carefully Hebrews 12:1-2.
Did you see the secret in the text? It is right there in these words, “looking unto Jesus” as it appears in the New King James. Literally the original language says, “Fixing our eyes on Jesus.” Looking to Him means seeking Him and following His lead in our lives, no matter what the circumstances we are facing.
Life is described in this passage as “running the race.” We see a picture described of an Olympic type atmosphere. We are in a giant stadium, coliseum, if you please, and we are surrounded by a host of witnesses, those who have already finished the race.They are encouraging us to finish the race. The way to do it, fix your eyes on the finish line, in this case on Jesus.
1. Fix Your eyes on Jesus because of Who He Is.
He is the “author and finisher of our faith”. He is the one who initiates faith in us. He left heaven’s glory and came and lived without sin. Then He took our sins upon Himself and bore them to a cross where He paid in full our sin debt. He died, was buried, but three days later rose again. Now He has sent the Holy Spirit who convicts us of sin and convinces us of truth. So Jesus initiates faith in us.
He also completes that work He begins. Phil. 1: 6 says, “I am confident of this very thing. The one (Jesus) who began a good work in you, will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.
2. Fix your eyes on Jesus because of What He did.
He “endured the Cross”. Many Jews died on Roman crosses. But what is different here is that this is the eternal One, who had no sin, bearing our sin and shame. He faced the most horrific death of the cross where He took the Father’s wrath toward sin in our place. He became our substitute, paying a debt He did not owe, but a debt we owed and could not pay.
He endured the Cross. Watch the Passion of Christ by Mel Gibson if you want to see the physical horror of a cross. Read your Bible if you want to understand the real horror of the cross, enduring the separation our sin brings from the Father, as for the first time in His existence the Son endured being “forsaken” of God. He died that we might live.
3. Fix your eyes on Jesus because of Why He Did it.
He endured the cross, the text says, “for the joy that was set before Him.” He didn’t endure the cross because He loved suffering. He had agonized in the garden asking if there was another way to let this pass from him. But He submitted to the Father’s will.
It was the joy of satisfying the Father’s justice so that the Father’s love might fall on people who turn to Him in faith. He endured the cross for the joy of presenting us to the Father as redeemed trophies of His grace.
4. Fix your eyes on Jesus because of Where He is.
Jesus sat down at the right hand of the Father. He sat down because the work of atonement is finished, it is complete. The high priest in the Old Testament never sat down. His offering in the Holy of Holies was a picture of the death of Christ yet to come. He never finished; it was year after year after year. But Jesus’ death completed the task.
Now, the Bible says, He is seated at the Father’s right hand where He continually is interceding in our behalf. It is in that place of authority that He accomplishes for us all that God the Father desires.
So here is the picture of our text. We are running the race of life. Along the way we are tempted to give up because it is hard. But surrounding us are the hosts who have gone before us and finished the race. They are cheering us on. Look there in the crowd.
It is Abraham, who left his home to go wherever God may lead, not knowing what it might mean. “Abraham, how do I finish?” He cries out to you, “Look to Jesus.” Over there is Moses, who at the age of 80 led over a million Israelite slaves out of Egypt to go to Canaan. “Moses, how do I finish this race? It is so hard.” He replies from the witness gallery, “Fix your eyes on Jesus.”
Over here is Daniel, and Shadrach, Meschach and Abedneggo. One endured the trial of the lion’s den and the other three were thrown in a fiery furnace. “Hey guys,” you ask, “how do I face these hardships in my life?” They respond from the pages of the Scripture and across the years of time, “Look to Jesus. He will get you through.” And there is David who faced giants, and Hosea who endured a broken marriage. There is Peter, John, and Mark. And again and again you cry out.
“How do I handle this or that? How do I endure my spouse’s betrayal? How do I face this financial crisis? What do I do to get through this cancer?” No matter what you are facing the testimony of these heroes of the faith comes back, “Fix your eyes on Jesus, and keep going. He will get you through.”
That is it. That is the secret to everything. Keep your eyes focused on Jesus. Seek Him, listen to Him, obey Him, surrender to Him.