LOOK AT THE SON!

Today, many folks will flock to a spot where they can see the eclipse. Experts warn of traffic nightmares and not-so-experts even warn this is but a sign of the end of the world, but hey, we don’t get this kinda sight in America every year, so let’s make the most of it! Nevertheless, folks will put on goofy looking shades resembling the old 3D glasses you’d get at the movies, tilt their heads back, and look at the sun.

On second thought, I suppose you will more likely see folks with or without goofy looking glasses resembling the old 3D glasses you’d get at the movies, tilt their heads back, outstretch their arms, and look at the sun through their smart phones…but I digress. It is truly a monumental occasion in that this happens most often in the middle of nowhere, but on Monday, it’ll happen here from Oregon to South Carolina, sweeping the whole width of the United States for the first time since 1918.

I know of many families making a pilgrimage to the path of totality and supply and demand has caused hotel prices to skyrocket to $1,000 or more. Even those glasses, which could be found for a while for a buck, have reached more than $100. Folks are desperate to take this spectacular event in and, well, no one really WANTS to go blind doing so. And so, folks will pack up their car, drive for hours, endure hours of traffic, pray for clear skies, and…look at the sun. Or at least the moon blocking it!

As a preacher and a student, if you will, of C.H. Spurgeon’s life and ministry, I have read and shared the story of his conversion many times. He had visited a Primitive Methodist Church one evening during a snowstorm. As I recall, the church had a pretty simple preacher with a very simple message from Isaiah 45:22:

Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.
— Isaiah 45:22 (KJV)

Spurgeon said of that evening, He [the preacher] began, “ ‘Look,’ that is not hard work. You need not lift your hand, you do not want to lift your finger. Look, a fool can do that. It does not need a wise man to look. A child can do that. It don’t need to be a full-grown to use your eyes. Look, a poor man may do that, no need of riches to look. Look, how simple; how simple.”

Then he went on, “ ‘look unto me.’ Do not look to yourselves, but ‘look to me, that is Christ.… Look unto Jesus Christ;’ ” and then he went on in his own simple way to put it thus: “ ‘Look unto me; I am sweating great drops of blood for you; look unto me, I am scourged and spit upon; I am nailed to the cross, I die, I am buried, I rise and ascend, I am pleading before the Father’s throne, and all this is for you.’”

That night, Spurgeon looked at the Son. He looked away from himself, turning from his sin and shame, and placed his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for help and hope, forgiveness and righteousness, and freedom and assurance. He looked at the Son and saw salvation!

Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us,  keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith. For the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
— Hebrews 12:1-3 (CSB)

Other translations read, “Looking unto Jesus,” to which I say, LOOK AT THE SON! This is the very opposite of what Satan would have us do, for he lives to get our eyes on ourselves rather than Jesus, but it is the Spirit’s aim and purpose to turn our eyes from ourselves and onto our Lord for salvation. Satan says, “Look at you!” The Spirit says, “Look at the Son!”

Who Will You Listen To?

Spurgeon said of the evil one, the tempter: “Your sins are too great for pardon; you have no faith; you do not repent enough; you will never be able to continue to the end; you have not the joy of his children; you have such a wavering hold of Jesus.” All these are thoughts about self, and we shall never find comfort or assurance by looking within. But the Holy Spirit turns our eyes entirely away from self: he tells us that we are nothing, but that “Christ is all in all.”

Will you look at the Son? As Spurgeon said, look not so much to thy hand with which thou art grasping Christ, as to Christ; look not to thy hope, but to Jesus, the source of thy hope; look not to thy faith, but to Jesus, the author and finisher of thy faith. We shall never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our doings, or our feelings; it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul. If we would at once overcome Satan and have peace with God, it must be by “looking unto Jesus.”

As you enjoy this monumental day and look at the sun, make this the greatest day of your life by looking at the Son! Turn from your sin and place your faith in Jesus, and you'll find this historic day become the day of your salvation. You need only to look and you will live forever and ever with Him, finding this a sweet song on your lips:

My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness: I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
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