February 13, 2017

All longings will be satisfied . . .

Some have claimed to see the face of Jesus in a shroud or imprinted on a pizza or a piece of toast. A few say they have seen His face in a dream or vision. Christians have sensed His presence and felt as if they had seen His face, but not with their eyes. The Bible says . . .

“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12)

That seems to refer to seeing Jesus, but whatever it means and whatever is our experience, the longing is there. We want to see Jesus, and the Word of God promises that we will . . .

“They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.” (Revelation 22:4)

The book of Revelation begins with “The revelation of Jesus Christ” and tells us about that time when Jesus will return, but it also describes the revelation of Jesus to John who wrote about what he saw . . .

“And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.’ Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, ‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!’ And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!’ And the four living creatures said, ‘Amen!’ and the elders fell down and worshiped.” (Revelation 5:6–14)

As I read these words, my heart fills with a great longing. I want to see Jesus. As the author of today’s devotional reading says, He is “the great object of our hope, the great desire of our hearts, the great joy of heaven and the great fullness of our heavenly reward.” I will see the Christ who died in my place at Calvary, fully satisfying the wrath and justice of God. I will see Jesus who loves me with an everlasting love.

I’ve seen Jesus in the lives of His people, some more than others. Those who are transparent and reflect the image of Christ have become precious to me, but I realize it is not them but the One whom they reflect. If I enjoy being with them, it is because I long to be with Jesus.

Someday, I will literally see His face. In thinking about heaven, there will be other delights, but this is at the very top of the list, the greatest desire of all eternity. Not only will He stand before me, I will have a greater insight into who He is and what He has done. As Scripture says, I will know Him fully, see Him without interruption, and without any veil of sinful humanity to interfere with that vision of Him. Just as the paradise of God is pure, intense, eternal, and perfect, so will be my spiritual fellowship with Christ.

Not only will He be clear and undimmed, so will be my eyes. What I see now is dim because much hinders my sight. Sin, earthly cares, sorrows and so on waver between me and Jesus now, but then there will be nothing to block or rival or confuse my view. I will love and worship Him as He ought to be loved and worshiped.

How will this happen? What will change then that has not yet happened? The following verses describe one great reason for my hope and the desire in my heart . . .

“Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.” (1 John 3:2–3)

Jesus, when I see You I will also see everything as You see, think as You think, want what You want. My heart will be one with Your great heart. When I see Your face, all my longings and desires will be totally satisfied. Oh, come Lord Jesus.

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