“Look unto me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.”
To whom does God tell us to look for salvation?
O, does it not lower the pride of man, when we hear the Lord say, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth?” It is not. “Look to your priest, and be ye saved:” if you did, there would be another god, and beside him there would be some one else. It is not “Look to yourself;” if so, then there would be a being who might arrogate some of the praise of salvation. But it is “Look unto me.”
How frequently you who are coming to Christ look to yourselves.
“O!” you say, “I do not repent enough.” That is looking to yourself.
“I do not believe enough.” That is looking to yourself.
“I am too unworthy.” That is looking to yourself.
“I cannot discover,” says another, “that I have any righteousness.” It is quite right to say that you have not any righteousness; but it is quite wrong to look for any.
The Lord said, “Look unto me.”
God will have you turn your eye off yourself and look unto him. The hardest thing in the world is to turn a man’s eye off himself; as long as he lives, he always has a predilection to turn his eyes inside, and look at himself; whereas God says, “Look unto me.” From the cross of Calvary, where the bleeding hands of Jesus drop mercy; from the Garden of Gethsemane, where the bleeding pores of the Saviour sweat pardons, the cry comes, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.” From Calvary’s summit, where Jesus cries, “It is finished,” I hear a shout, “Look, and be saved.” But there comes a vile cry from our soul, “Nay, look to yourself! look to yourself!”
There is no hope in self.
Ah, my hearer, look to yourself, and you will be damned. That certainly will come of it. As long as you look to yourself there is no hope for you. It is not a consideration of what you are, but a consideration of what God is, and what Christ is, that can save you. It is looking from yourself to Jesus. Oh! There are men that quite misunderstand the gospel; they think that righteousness qualifies them to come to Christ; whereas sin is the only qualification for a man to come to Jesus.
Good old Crisp says, “Righteousness keeps me from Christ: the whole have no need of a physician, but they that are sick. Sin makes me come to Jesus, when sin is felt; and, in coming to Christ, the more sin I have the more cause I have to hope for mercy.”
“Mine iniquity is great”
David said, and it was a strange thing, too, “Have mercy upon me, for mine iniquity is great.” But, David, why did not you say that it was little? Because, David knew that the bigger his sins were, the better reason for asking mercy. The more vile a man is, the more eagerly I invite him to believe in Jesus. A sense of sin is all we have to look for as ministers. We preach to sinners; and let us know that a man will take the title of sinner to himself, and we then say to him, “Look unto Christ, and ye shall be saved.” “Look,” this is all he demands of you, and even this he gives to you. If you look to yourself you are damned; you are a vile miscreant, filled with loathsomeness, corrupt and corrupting others.
But look here!
Do you see that man hanging on the cross? Do you behold his agonized head dropping meekly down upon his breast? Do you see that thorny crown, causing drops of blood to trickle down his cheeks? Do you see his hands pierced and rent, and his blessed feet, supporting the weight of his own frame, rent well-rent almost in twain with the cruel nails? Sinner! do you hear him shriek, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabbacthani?” Do you hear him cry, “It is finished”? Do you see his head hang down in death? Do you see that side pierced with the spear, and the body taken from the cross?
O, come thou hither!
Those hands were nailed for you; those feet gushed gore for you; that side was opened wide for you; and if you want to know how you can find mercy, there it is. “Look!” “Look unto me!” Look no longer to Moses. Look no longer to Sinai.
Come and look to Calvary, to Calvary’s victim, and to Joseph’s grave.
And look yonder, to the man who near the throne sits with his Father, crowned with light and immortality. “Look, sinner,” he says, this morning, to you, “Look unto me, and be ye saved.” It is in this way God teaches that there is none beside him; because he makes us look entirely to him, and utterly away from ourselves.
(adapted from a sermon delivered by Charles Spurgeon on January 6, 1856 – available at the Blue Letter Bible).