John 20:16-17; Hebrews 3:1; 12:1-2. – Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
THEME OF THE DAY: CLING TO JESUS, CONSIDER JESUS, LOOK TO JESUS. It isn’t hard to see the common theme connecting the three passages of scripture in today’s nugget. They all focus on the believer’s relationship with Jesus Christ. In the first account, Mary is so in love with Jesus she wants to hold or cling to Him. In the first Hebrews text, believers are exhorted to consider Jesus. The word consider means “to contemplate, give careful thought” and even “meditate” upon the Person of our Lord. The final reference is the encouragement to “look to Jesus” and this is not a passing glance, but a steadfast gaze that captures all of one’s attention. The Christian life is truly all about Christ. And this fixation and centrality of Christ is for two reasons. Let’s consider them today.
First, we are to be fixed upon Christ because He is worthy of this chief place in our hearts, minds and lives. And our usefulness for Him in our homes, churches and communities is determined by this fixation. We will only grow in conformity to the image of Jesus Christ and be used to influence our worlds for Jesus Christ when we are consumed with and by Jesus Christ. It will only be Christians who say by words, and demonstrate by life, the testimony of the Apostle Paul, ‘For me to live is Christ’, ‘That I might know Him, the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings’ that will make a difference for Christ in this life (Philippians 1:21; Philippians 3:10). Our Lord Jesus is too wonderful, too majestic, too splendid in holiness, and too loving not to be the chief object of our affections and chief pursuit in our lives that perfumes every role in our lives with the sweet fragrance of His Person. Simply put – Jesus Christ deserves nothing but the best from us in terms of our affections, attitudes, and actions.
The next reason why we are to fix our hearts, minds, and lives upon the Lord Jesus is because of our ongoing desperate need of Him in the battle against sin and Satan. George Warner captures this so well in the following words . . .
“Nothing but the constant looking unto Jesus will preserve the soul from sinking into despondency in view of its daily sins and shortcomings. I deeply sympathize with you in the consciousness of sin. My sins often seem to me infinite in number, and scarlet in guilt, but despair? Never. Never till God sweeps away His own unchangeable promises, and obliterates the cross of His beloved Son; never, whilst Jesus lives, and is what He is – tender and mighty to save. Humiliation is of God; and oh, I long to lie lower before Him – to be subdued, lowly, and still. But despair is of Satan; and we cannot resist it too earnestly.”
Yes, my friend, if we are Christians, we are to cling to Jesus, consider Jesus, and look to Jesus. Those heart attitudes and actions describe all of the Christian life and oh what joyful Christian life it shall be as we learn to be consumed with Him who is the Christian life.
PRAYER: “Father, captivate my heart with Your Son.”
QUOTE: “We only will grow to be like Christ when we live consumed with and by Christ”.