Turn To Me
Father Matta El-Meskeen (Matthew the Poor)
THE POWER of looking to the brass serpent over whoever fell prey to it and was bitten by its poisonous bite is well known in the Old Testament.1
Facing us now is the greatest of the mysteries of resorting to Christ when we fall prey to one of the enemy’s deadly attacks.
In this revelatory mystery of Christ’s help to every one who falls prey under any circumstance to the enemy, and is hopeless facing the enemy’s sure stroke of death. Christ does not require from them here except to raise their hearts and eyes towards Christ where Christ’s presence exists with the consequence of redemption from death’s clutch that is instant and immediate. What does that mean? It means we are strangers in this world but are counted within the sphere of the immediate Divine protection, and all perils we face are directly placed before Christ. Right away Christ fulfills His rescue because the redemptive truth is that Christ accepted in His flesh the serpent’s deadly bite and allowed it to flow within Him until death. This was for the sake and on behalf of everyone the serpent would bite with its poison feeling he was subject to any kind of deadly bite. But when Christ accepted the bite of death for our sakes He immediately secreted the antitoxin to the poison and to death. He conquered for us the poison and death giving us a new life and the power of His grace. Thus instead of pain and death He gave us the grace and power of the new life.
Christ thus reminds us that every time we fall in any kind of the enemy’s claws we only have to look to Him knowing He has in store for us victory and life.
Looking to Christ in times of tribulation and danger means revealing His existence and living presence. Here the work of Christian faith is greatly needed, as the person under tribulation is obliged to apply the power of Christian faith summarized in “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”2 To put it more clearly: A person must absolutely believe in the hope of Christ’s work and the sureness of faith’s effectiveness, confident in Christ’s promise.
Golshan the Pakistani lady tells us that she stood perplexed not knowing where to flee to, so that Christ warned her saying: “Haven’t I told you to look at Me?” and she immediately found the solution. For that reason we must fully understand that Christ’s words “Look at Me” is a request to raise the heart to Him and depend on Him without anxiety or doubt. The verse is clear: “for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”3
For that reason we believe that looking to Christ is a kind of faith in the unseen that reaches the revelation of truth without seeing it. It is a condition higher than the level of faith in the visual perception and a gift that is not proper to man but is among Christ’s inner actions acting in the hearts of those who love Him.
Faith in Christ does not place any burden on man nor does it cost him any effort. It incites him to use Christ’s permanent presence in man’s heart. Here is the greatest verse that points out that meaning very clearly to man: “For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”4
To that extent did Christ affect His control over man’s will and work on everyone who loves Him accepting Him through faith as God and Savior: “Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.”5
The Bible assiduously asks that Christ be looked at so as to make this request a firm truth accessible to man in the word: “They looked to Him and were radiant,”6 fulfilling the meaning that “looking at Him” is the entrance to becoming radiant, radiance being the revelation of truth, the true light. It is the same as “walk in the light” which is the ultimate partnership in the truth of Christ to which Christ embraces us. Thus Christ’s word “Turn to Me” is a personal invitation to accept the Lord’s revelation as instantaneous partners towards a glorified heavenly elevation. It is salvation from the constrictions of this age and subjugation to the enemy through a superior victory. According to Old Testament logic it is an instantaneous healing from the poisonous bite of the serpent. In the language of the forefathers it is the antidote of not dying. Halleluiah!
1 Num 21:9.
2 Heb 11:1.
3 Heb 11:6.
4 Phil 2:13.
5 Ps 73:25.
6 Ps 34:5.
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