Many churches are reflecting on Jesus’ life, death, resurrection and ascension at this time, traditionally called the Lenten season. As I look to deepen my understanding of these key themes, I am drawn to the Bible verses in Hebrews 12:1–3.

Three things come out of this passage from Hebrews. First, Christ laid the foundation of our faith through his death and resurrection—he made our salvation possible. Second, he provided the perfect example to follow in that he trusted God perfectly. Even when he was tempted in the wilderness, he did not give in. And in the Garden of Gethsemane, he yielded up his human will to the perfect will of his heavenly Father. No one was ever tested like Jesus, and no one ever passed the test as he did. Third, Jesus gives us the faith we need when we feel like quitting. All true faith comes from him because faith itself is a gift from God. In Christ, we find everything we need.

These verses are at the heart of Easter, and it would be true to say that it is easier at this time of year to fix our eyes and our thoughts on him. The word ‘fix’ comes from a Greek word that has the idea of concentrating your gaze. It means to look away from other things so that you can focus all your attention on one object. It’s in the present tense and describes a habitual attitude: continually maintaining this spiritual gaze on Jesus.

In the book Jesus Centered: Focusing on Jesus in a Distracting World, Steve A Brown writes: ‘In perfect obedience, he (Jesus) surrendered to his Father’s will and plans. He submitted to bearing the weight of our sins and drinking the cup of suffering. On the brighter side, Jesus also brought everlasting glory to God and opened the way for God’s reconciliation with all of humanity. Jesus’ obedient surrender at the cross defeated sin and death, gave access to the kingdom of God, and initiated a revolution that continues two thousand years on.’

This is the core of who we are and the message we proclaim as The Salvation Army that brings life, the life of Jesus Christ.

Commissioner Mark Campbell

Commissioner Mark Campbell
Territorial Commander