Religion & Spirituality:Christianity
Holy Week Reflections with David Shibley (Day 2)
What can one look do?
Just ask Charles. He was hounded by despair. Although he was raised in a churchgoing family, he was in deep turmoil of soul, gripped by guilt and anxiety. Peace eluded him. Desperate to find an answer, this young seeker braved a blizzard to get to church, and hopefully get to God and peace.
Unable to reach the church he usually attended because of the severe weather, fifteen-year-old Charles ducked into a small Primitive Methodist chapel. There were just eight people in attendance, all huddled around a coal-burning stove. The bitter conditions had even kept the pastor away. But a simple, short unpacking of the best news Charles had ever heard would soon be delivered by an unsung hero.
In the pastor's absence an untrained blacksmith stood to speak. He read Isaiah 45:22, "Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth!" Pointing his bony finger at the anguished young man he cried, "Look, young man! Look! Look to Christ!"
That pivotal night Charles heard the gist of the gospel: Look away from yourself. Look away from your sin. Look to Christ! Look and live! And on that snowy night young Charles Spurgeon looked in faith to God's crucified, risen Son.
That blacksmith's one convert from his one short sermon soon started preaching himself to throngs of people. Charles Spurgeon's gospel-anchored ministry shook London and the world for the next four decades.
There's another story about the power of a look in the Old Testament. The Children of Israel had rebelled against the one true God. As a result, venomous snakes began to attack the people. They were dying in droves. Moses interceded before God in behalf of the people. "Then the Lord said to Moses, 'Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it shall live'" (Numbers 21:8). This symbol of a snake wrapped around a pole remains the emblem of the medical community today. It reminds the needy that there is hope and healing.
The snake on the pole is a vivid illustration that "[God] made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Corinthians 5:21). The pole represents the Cross of Christ. Jesus said, "Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:14-16, NIV).
When John the Baptist announced Jesus arrival, he said,"Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29, NLT).
Have you looked to the Lamb of God who took your sin? That look changes everything.
"If you from sin are longing to be free
Look to the Lamb of God
He to redeem you died on Calvary
Look to the Lamb of God"
(H. G. Jackson)
In this Holy Week, let's share this Good News with others. You can also hear these Holy Week Reflections as a podcast at www.informedradio.com.
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