Gospel: He Lifted Up His Eyes

Bold explorations of outer space and stunning pictures transmitted back to earth have created new levels of wonder at the marvels of the universe. As current as this interest might be, it is certainly not new. Long ago David, a young shepherd and later Israel’s great and God’s favorite king, took great delight in lifting his eyes and scanning the starry sky. His musings expose a heart awestruck with the Creator of it all. He wonders why such a great God is involved in the affairs of men (Ps 8:3-4). Our amazing universe should motivate us to consider our relationship with God, the Creator.

The Lord Jesus Christ tells of a man who tried to adjust his relationship to Almighty God, but he did it too late. Luke 16 depicts a person totally captivated by the good things in his life. His relationship with God was secondary, and his preparation to meet God was woefully inadequate. The Lord Jesus describes the man in hell: “He lifted up his eyes,” but it was to plead for mercy. The final words relayed to this desperate man denied him access into God’s presence forever.

This powerful message underscores a critical issue. Our acceptance by God hinges on a definite, personal relationship with Him. Sin precludes a relationship with God. Because of sin, we fail to know and appreciate God – to truly love Him with heart, soul, and mind (Mt 22:37). Yet God loves us so much that He gave His own Son “that we should not perish” (Jn 3:16). Picture the Lord Jesus Christ, hours from the cross, with His focus heavenward! “He lifted up His eyes” and prayed that we might know “the only true God and Jesus Christ” (Jn 17:1, 3). Could this experience of knowing God and His Son really happen? Only through Jesus’ death and willing sacrifice in payment for our sin.

The onus then is clearly on us. We can live without knowing Him. We can defer a relationship for some other time. Or we could lift our eyes away from life’s possibilities and problems to give this relationship with God our undivided attention. Life’s uncertainties demand the latter, but what is required?

Our approach to God must be through the “one mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim 2:5-6). Our condition must be one of true repentance – an honest acknowledgement of sin and helplessness, assessed from God’s perspective. Made aware of our sin by God’s Holy Spirit, we must lift our eyes in faith to grasp that the Lord Jesus Christ, the sinless Savior, died for our sins. Only this personal experience of salvation, the actual acceptance of God’s free offer of forgiveness, will establish that intimate relationship with God that is precious in life and essential in eternity.