Looking to the Lord
One of the things that I love most about the Old Testament is how it continually points forward to Christ. Whether it be a fourth man in the flaming furnace, a heavenly soldier speaking to Joshua, or the Prophets foretelling of the coming Messiah, the Old Testament is constantly pointing to Christ. As Paul finally arrives in Rome after months of traveling, he is put under house arrest and allowed to live alone. A guard is posted outside his house, but visitors are allowed to come and go as they please. One of the first things he does is call upon all the leaders of the Jews to come see him. During this visit, Paul explains his case for Jesus being the Messiah and shows them who Christ is, in light of the Law and the Prophets.
In Acts 28:26-27, Paul quotes from the book of Isaiah saying, “Go to this people and say, ‘You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.’ For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed; lest they should se with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them” Paul flat out calls out the Jewish leaders and tells them to open up their eyes and stop being closed minded. They are doing exactly what Isaiah prophesied about. Their hearts have grown dull to the Word of God, they choose not to listen, and they are blinded to the truth. Now, there are a few who listen to what Paul is telling them and they grasp how Jesus is the Christ; however, the majority of them remain ignorant.
Just like those Jewish leaders, it is easy for us as Followers of Christ to grow dull to the Word of God and begin to miss the mark. In Hebrews 12:1-2, the writer of Hebrews challenges us to fix our eyes on Christ: “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 seared at the right hand of the throne of God.” As the weeks and months come and go, watch your heart. Do not be like the Jewish leaders who were blinded and grew dull to the Word, but fix your eyes on Christ as we press forward in the race He has laid before us.
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