Look unto me, and be ye saved,

Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth:for I am God, and there is none else. Isaiah 45:22

Octavius Winslow

A true spiritual beholding of the Lord Jesus, in the great matter of our eternal salvation, requires that we look from every other object that would divide our attention, to Him alone. We must look from ourselves. This is, perhaps, the most common and insidious object that comes between the eye of the soul and Jesus. When God was ejected from the heart of man, self vaulted into the vacant throne, and has ever since maintained a supremacy. It assumed two forms, from both of which we are to look, in looking savingly to Jesus. We must look from righteous self; from all works of righteousness which we can perform—from our almsgivings, from our charities, from our religious observances, our fastings, and prayers, and sacraments—from all the works of the law, by which we are seeking to be justified; from all our efforts to make ourselves better, and thus to do something to commend ourselves to the Divine notice, and to propitiate the Divine regard; from all this we must look, if we rightly look unto Jesus, to be saved by His righteousness, and by His alone. The noble language of the apostle must find an echo in our hearts—” What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.”

We must equally, too, look unto Jesus from unrighteous self. Our sins, and transgressions, and iniquities—red as crimson, countless as the sands, and towering as the Alps—are not for one moment to intercept or obscure our looking unto Jesus for salvation. Jesus is a Saviour, as His precious name signifies. As such, He came to save us from our sins, be those sins never so great for magnitude, or infinite for number. It is impossible that we can look unto Jesus, and feel the joy of His salvation flowing into our hearts, while at the same time we are looking at the number and the turpitude of our sins. We must not look at the sin and at the Saviour at the same time; but beholding by faith Him who “bore our sins in His own body on the tree,” who was “made a sin-offering for us,” who was “wounded for our transgressions, and was bruised for our iniquities,” who shed His precious blood that the guiltiest may be cleansed and the vilest saved, and between whom and the penitent sinner, though he were another Manasseh, another Saul of Tarsus, another dying malefactor, no transgression and no crime can interpose an effectual barrier, we shall see the exceeding greatness and sinfulness of sin in a clearer and more searching and solemn light than we possibly could, viewing it apart from the cross. Look unto Jesus, then, from your sins: their magnitude and their number interpose no difficulty, and form no real discouragement to your immediate approach to Christ. No argument based upon your unworthiness can avail to exclude you from an interest in His great salvation. He came into the world to save sinners, even the chief. It is His work, it is His joy, it is His glory to save sinners. For this He exchanged heaven for earth, relinquished the bosom of His Father for the embrace of the cross. He was never known to reject a poor sinner that came to Him; He has never refused to take within His sheltering side, to hide within His bleeding bosom, the penitent that sought its protection, fleeing from the condemnation of the law to the asylum of the cross. “Whoever comes unto me, I will in no wise cast out.” With such a declaration as this, flowing from the lips of Jesus, who can refuse to look from the greatness of his own sin and guilt, to the greatness of His love, the greatness of His grace, the greatness of His salvation, “who came into the world to save sinners”?

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