“LOOKING UNTO JESUS”
Salvation is “looking unto Jesus.” It is looking to Christ alone as the Author of our faith. He is the One who, in covenant mercy, devised and designed the whole scheme of grace. He is the One who gave us faith by the regenerating grace and power of his Holy Spirit. And he is the One who is the solitary object of our faith.
We look to Christ as the Finisher of our faith, as well. By his active and passive obedience unto the Father as our Representative and Substitute, the Lord Jesus Christ finished the transgressions of his people, made an end of sin, and brought in everlasting righteousness. Thus he finished our salvation. He is the end of our faith, too. That is to say, at the end of faith, when we have finished our race, Christ himself is the Reward we shall have. And the Lord Jesus Christ is the One who shall bring our faith to its proper finish and conclusion. He will finish his good work of grace which he began in us.
Salvation begins by “looking unto Jesus.” This is our Savior’s word to sinners everywhere - “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else” (Isa. 45:22). There is no God but that God who reveals himself in the Lord Jesus Christ, “a just God and a Savior.” There is no salvation apart from the knowledge of him (John 17:3). If you would be saved, you must look to the Lord Jesus Christ, you must trust him, who has, by the sacrifice of himself, put away sin. You must trust him whose blood has satisfied the infinite justice of the holy Lord God, him through whom God can be both just and the Justifier of all who believe.
As salvation begins, it is maintained and continues by “looking unto Jesus.” Hebrews 12 is an exhortation to perseverance. If we do not persevere unto the end, we are not saved. If we do not finish our course in faith, we do not have faith. But how can we endure the trials, overcome the temptations, recover from the falls, and finish our course with joy? By what means can we endure all things and win the prize of eternal life in Christ? The answer is clear. “Let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” When we are tempted to quit, we must ever “consider him.” Christ is the Rule by which we must live, the Example we must follow, and the Inspiration for persevering faith and faithfulness.
Once we have finished our course, when we have crossed the finish line, our salvation shall end with us forever “looking unto Jesus!” It is written, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). When our salvation is finished, we shall see his face forever! We shall be found forever “looking unto Jesus,” with perfect joy and complete satisfaction, in everlasting bliss!