Jesus – The True Ram (Lift up your eyes and look)


Genesis 22:13 reads “And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.” Isaac’s question of “Where is the lamb for the offering?” to Abraham is answered temporarily here by God providing a ram (not a lamb) that was caught in a thicket, whcih Abraham went and took and offered it as a burnt offering instead of his son.”

In the book of Daniel chapter 8, we see that the kings of Medes and Persia are represented by two horns of a ram on rampage, with nothing standing in its way until it is overthrown by the king of Greece, represented by a he-goat. So the ram  is symbolic of  strength and authority as that of a kings.

Points to ponder:
Jesus Christ, the supreme authority to whom all blessing and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving, honor  and power and strength is given/ascribed (Revelation 7:12) – the ruler over all of creation (Ephesians 1:21-22) – The True Ram – was lifted up on the Cross of Calvary, with his head wrapped in a thicket (thorn) crown (Matthew 27:29). All of his Lordship, Kingship and authority was willfully relinquished by himself. Jesus being God, he made himself of no reputation (Philippians 2:5) as a king caught in the thickets of God’s plan for the redemption of mankind. Instead of us, the sons and daughters of God through Adam, Jesus, the Only begotten Son of God, was the offering provided for the salvation of all mankind. Just as Abraham went and took the offering provided, we must also go to Jesus and take (accept) him, but this begins with us first lifting up the eyes of our heart and looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).  Jesus is the True Ram (King) – Do you see – Lift up your eyes and look (believe)?

Genesis 22:13 (KJV)
13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.

Woman, behold thy son! … Behold thy mother!


Jesus’ third saying from the Cross was directed to his mother and to his beloved disciple who was standing by her. To her, he said, “Woman, behold thy son!” and to him, he said, “Behold thy mother!” The action verb in both these statements is “Behold”. This word is a word that is a call to attention and literally has it roots from combining the words “be” and “to hold”. It is more than just a glance or a look – it means to keep the gaze on and to hold on to that sight.

As part of dispensing his duties (as any Son should), in this saying, Jesus was profoundly establishing a truth – the truth of holding on in sight to relationships – never losing focus on familial relationship.

Points to ponder:
To all those who have believed in Jesus, and who have received and accepted him, God has given them the power to be called the sons (children) of God (John 1:12). In other words, we are part of God’s family, if we believe and receive Jesus Christ, to be our Lord and Savior. God is reminding us to look at and hold on to that familial relationship, we have with God.

The Bible makes it amply clear that this is what we are counseled and commanded to do – Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising its shame (Hebrews 12:2a). Notice how this rendition is “looking” and not just “look”, implying that this is a constant action – to behold – to keep the gaze – to hold on in view.

To the Church, the Woman (bride of Christ), God, the Father is saying, Behold his Son, Jesus Christ – looking on to him perpetually. What are you beholding?

John 19:26-27 (KJV)
26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

Hebrews 12:2 (KJV)
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.

Be ye Steadfast :: In your focus


The Bible counsels us to be steadfast (1 Corinthians 15:58) and to look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).

When all those who sat in the council looked steadfastly on Stephen, a man full of the Holy Spirit of God, they saw his face, as if it had been of an angel (Acts 6:15). Some of the Jews that disputed with Stephen, unable to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spoke, lied against Stephen and accused him of blasphemy against Moses and God and sought his death before this council. Even when Stephen’s life was on death row, he used the opportunity to witness about Jesus Christ, the Just One, who justifies all who believe in Him by His blood (Romans 5:9). But those who heard him, resisted the conviction of the Holy Spirit’s that Jesus, spoken of by the prophets (whose voice they did not hear as well) is the Just One, whom they have now betrayed and murdered. This made those who heard Stephen furious and they gnashed their teeth at him. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God (Acts 7:55) and when he expressed this, the people who were furious cast him out of the city and stoned him to death.

Points to ponder:
When the people steadfastly looked at Stephen, who was full of the Holy Spirit of God, they saw his face to be like that of an angel. If the world was to steadfastly look at you and me, will they find our face angelic because of the fullness of the Holy Spirit of God in us?

On the other hand, Stephen’s focus was not on the people, who for all practical purposes had his life in their hands, but his focus was on God, in whose hands, he knew his life was. His focus was on life and not on impending death. He focus was on the Solver and not on the problems of life. His focus was steadfast (unwavering) into heaven, where he saw the glory of God and Jesus, the author and finisher of his faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the Cross, despising its shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2). But did you note, that Stephen sees Jesus standing at the right hand of God and not seated down; as if, Jesus was giving Stephen a standing ovation for his unwavering faith and steadfast focus. Is your focus and mine, like that of Stephen’s; steadfast on Jesus?

Acts 6:15 (KJV)
15 And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel. 

Acts 7:55 (KJV)
55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God 

Hebrews 12:2 (KJV)
Looking unto Jesus [steadfastly] 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.

Glance or Gaze – Where is our focus?


The most important thing for a row boat to make it back to shore, when it is in the middle of the sea, is for the boatman to have his eyes fixed on the lighthouse and not on the waves in the sea. Many a times, when we are surrounded by the storms of life, we focus our attention on the ups and downs of our life, instead of fixing our eyes on the calmer of all storms – Jesus Christ.

We intently gaze on our problems while merely glancing on God (the storm calmer). The Bible counsels us otherwise. Our heart should be like that of king David, who desired, one thing, which was to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord, all the days of his life (Psalm 27:4). We must fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). We need not even merely glance on our problems but we must intently and solely gaze on God. Jesus Christ is the guiding Light and when we fix our focus on Him, only then can we be assured of reaching the other shore, over the buffeting effects of life.

Points to ponder:
1. Where is your/my glance?
2. Where is your/my gaze?

Psalm 27:4 (KJV)
4 One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.

Hebrews 12:2 (KJV)
2 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.

Where are our eyes focused?


A fish is caught in a hook because it has its eyes focused on the lure and not the string that is attached to it.

Genesis 13 records the account of Abram and his nephew, Lot, separating to avoid strife between them, but what is interesting to note in that account is that both Abram and Lot had their eyes focused differently. Abram’s priority was to build and altar and call on the name of the Lord, first (Genesis 13:4). In other words, his eyes were focused on the Lord (Provider) and not the land (provisions). And when Abram asked Lot to take his pick of the land, the Bible states that Lot lifted up his eyes and looked in one direction and saw the lush lure of the land and chose it for himself (Genesis 13:10). In hindsight, we learn that all that glitters is not gold, for the  land that Lot had chosen was evil and punished by the Lord. The choicest of the land may not be the choicest of the Lord. We see later in this account that God asks Abram to lift up his eyes and look in ALL directions, promising Abram and his heir all that he saw (Genesis 13:14). When we fix our eyes on Jesus, He promises and provides for us and our heir in ALL aspects of life, blessing us to be a blessing to others.

There are strings attached with the lures of this world and if we don’t lift our eyes on to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2), we can can be caught in the hooks and lures that the world (an enemy of God) has to offer. Where are our eyes focused?

Psalm 121:1-2 (KJV)
1
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
2
My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.