In the first verse of the third chapter of Hebrews we have an exhortation which comprehends all the injunctions given to the Christian. It is this:
Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus. To do this as the Bible enjoins, to consider Christ continually and intelligently, just as He is, will transform one into a perfect Christian, for
by beholding we become changed.
Ministers of the gospel have an inspired warrant for keeping the theme, Christ, continually before the people and directing the attention of the people to Him alone. Paul said to the Corinthians,
I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified (1 Cor. 2:2), and there is no reason to suppose that his preaching to the Corinthians was different in any respect from his preaching elsewhere. Indeed, he tells us that when God revealed His Son in him, it was that he might preach Him among the heathen (Gal. 1:15, 16), and his joy was that to him grace had been given to
preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ. Eph. 3:8.
But the fact that the apostles made Christ the burden of all their preaching is not our sole warrant for magnifying Him. His name is the only name under heaven given among men whereby we can be saved. Acts 4:12. Christ Himself declared that no man can come unto the Father but by Him. John 14:6. To Nicodemus He said,
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:14, 15.
lifting up of Jesus, while it has primary reference to His crucifixion, embraces more than the mere historical fact; it means that Christ must be
lifted up by all who believe in Him, as the crucified Redeemer, whose grace and glory are sufficient to supply the world's greatest need; it means that He should be
lifted up in all His exceeding loveliness and power as
God with us, that His Divine attractiveness may thus draw all unto Him. See John 12:32.
The exhortation to consider Jesus and also the reason therefore, are given in Heb. 12:1-3:
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 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. For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. It is only by constantly and prayerfully considering Jesus as He is revealed in the Bible that we can keep from becoming weary in well-doing and from fainting by the way.
Again, we should consider Jesus because in Him
are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Col. 2:3. Whoever lacks wisdom is directed to ask of God, who gives to all men liberally and upbraids not, and the promise is that it shall be given him, but the desired wisdom can be obtained only in Christ. The wisdom which does not proceed from Christ and which does not as a consequence lead to Him is only foolishness, for God, as the Source of all things, is the Author of wisdom; ignorance of God is the worst sort of foolishness (see Rom. 1:21, 22) and all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hid in Christ, so that he who has only the wisdom of this world knows, in reality, nothing. And since all power in heaven and in earth is given to Christ, the apostle Paul declares Christ to be
the power of God and the wisdom of God. 1 Cor. 1:24.
There is one text, however, which briefly sums up all that Christ is to man and gives the most comprehensive reason for considering Him. It is this:
But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. 1 Cor. 1:30. We are ignorant, wicked lost. Christ is to us wisdom, righteousness, redemption. What a range! From ignorance and sin to righteousness and redemption. Man's highest aspiration or need cannot reach outside the bounds of what Christ is to us and what He alone is to us. Sufficient reason this why the eyes of all should be fixed upon Him.