…the parched land shall become a pool, and the thirsty lands springs of water…(Isaiah 35:7)

Our Gaze on Christ

By Eric Chaffey


I feel a little out of my element at the moment. As part of my work I am attending a theology conference in Boulder, Colorado.  I’ve learned some new things, and been reminded of some things that I’ve known for quite a while. Sometimes something we’ve known our whole lives takes on new meaning when presented in a different context. It goes without question when we keep our eyes focused on Christ life generally seems to go better. Difficulties and trials come, but with our gaze on Christ the pains and trials while sometimes devastating are never the less made bearable by our loving Savior and friend.

In the middle of the 17th century, a hymn writer by the name of Paul Gerhardt wrote a text that he paired with a much earlier German melody that can be traced back to around 1500. In the 18th century it was harmonized by Johann Sebastian Bach and became one of the most well known hymns pertaining to the crucifixion. It is a hymn called, O Sacred Head Now Wounded. Two of the verses of this hymn really spoke to me today.

What language shall I borrow to thank thee, dearest friend,
For this thy dying sorrow, thy pity without end?
Oh make me thine forever, and should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never outlive my love for thee.

Lord be my consolation; shield me when I must die;
remind me of thy passion when my last hour draws nigh.
These eyes, new faith receiving, from thee shall never move;
For all who die believing, die safely in thy love.

Indeed in addition to being our Savior and Redeemer, he is our friend and consolation. If we keep our gaze on him, he will not leave us. Even in the hour that can seem so dark, he is there. We can’t see him with our mortal sight. Yet with our faith, and love we can keep our focus on him who is with us even to the end.

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