Christ Backward, Upward, and Forward

In the book Practical Religion J.C. Ryle states, “The ancient Christians made it a part of their religion to look for His [Christ’s] return. Backward they looked to the cross for the atonement for sin, and rejoiced in Christ crucified. Upward they looked to Christ at the right hand of God, and rejoiced in Christ interceding. Forward they looked to the promised return of their Master, and rejoiced in the thought that they would see Him again. And we ought to do the same.”

Christ backward, Christ upward, Christ forward should be the motto of every Christian.

Christ backward – Jesus’ sinless life, death on the cross, resurrection from the dead, and ascension into heaven comprise the glorious and powerful gospel message. Those who believe it and place their faith in Jesus Christ and his atoning work will be saved, their hearts made new.

Christ upward – Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father and intercedes for us. This is amazing! The living Son of God speaks on our behalf, pleading before the Father for us. There could be no better person for the task of knowing us – our needs, motives, desires, pleas.

Christ forward – Almost all of us will meet Christ within the next 80 years. We will either pass away and meet him in heaven, or we will witness his second coming. Looking forward to the day when we come face to face with Christ should motivate us to life for him now and look forward with anticipation to that glorious moment.

Look backward today and see your Savior and his atoning work on the cross for you. Look upward today and praise him for interceding for you. Look forward to the day you will see him face to face. Let Christ backward, Christ upward, and Christ forward be the cry of your heart.

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