Posted on Aug 7, 2013 in Messages |
“They shall see His face”. What a simple sentence to describe one of eternity’s greatest wonders! To those who have rejected God’s offer of salvation through the blood of Christ, His glorified face will be a terrible sight, calling into black memory all their sins and failings. But for us, cleansed by His blood, the weakness and suffering of our human lives will only make that view of His face all the more precious.
There are some of God’s children whose minds are clouded by despair, plagued by depression. They shall see His face, and their darkness will be light.
Others weep with wounded hearts, bound by suffering and pain. They shall see His face, and their sorrow will be swallowed up by joy.
Some push through life with arms that feel painfully empty, finding loneliness their constant companion. They shall see His face, and their love-hunger will be filled to overflowing.
Some bear the burden of misunderstanding, hurt by those they seek to help. They shall see His face, and it won’t matter anymore.
Some empty themselves in sacrificial service, worn out in labors of love. They shall see His face, and it will be worth it all.
There are some who trust, yet falter, tortured by fears and uncertainty. They shall see His face, and their doubts will be gone.
There are some who devote their lives to the good rather than the best things. They shall see His face, and their perspective will be transformed.
We have never seen His face, and yet we shall recognize Him instantly. We shall never tire of looking at Him, shall never wish to see any other face but His. Long ago He said to us, “Seek my face” and our hearts answered, “Thy face, O Lord, I shall seek”. One day, we will no longer need to seek. One day we will see His glorified face. How could words ever begin to describe that sight?
Life’s greatest question is recorded in Luke 9:20 when the Lord Jesus asked, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter’s response “The Christ of God” was excellent. But answering the question of all time takes more than four words. God gives His own answer in revealing the glorious face of Christ at the transfiguration.
“He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light”. The word “transfigured” speaks of a change from the inside out. The “glory which He had before the world was” broke through the veil of His flesh. At the transfiguration, the disciples saw in the face of Christ a glimpse of His intrinsic nature – “He alone possesses immortality and lives in unapproachable light”.
“Then Moses and Elijah also appeared before them, talking with Him”. No matter who puts together an all-star team of Old Testament saints, Moses and Elijah have to be at the top. In the Old Testament, both Moses and Elijah had visible glory. Elijah was carried away in a chariot with fiery horses. Moses’ face shone because He met with God. But when the disciples saw these three, they saw “HIS glory, and the two men standing with Him” (Luke 9:32). The glory in the face of the Lord Jesus was far above that of those who merely saw the glory of God – Chirst IS the glory of God.
These three heavenly men were discussing “the decease which He should accomplish at Jerusalem”. “Departure” might be a better translation. His departure started with His decease and finished with His ascension. The Lord’s great exit was something HE accomplished, and accomplished perfectly. Though the disciples were repulsed by the news of His upcoming crucifixion, Heaven’s residents couldn’t get enough this great manifestation of the love of God. Christ’s face, shining as the sun, would soon show a different glory as it was marred beyond that of any other man. Proclaiming the Lord’s death is at the center of the glory of Christ.
When Peter ignorantly suggests building three tents (as if these three were of equal stature), a rebuke comes. Moses and Elijah are taken away, and the only One that really matter is left standing – “Jesus was found alone” . He alone received the praise from God the Father, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him”. All others had been tried and found wanting. But God was well satisfied with Jesus Christ. God’s great plan is that all history would be to the glory of His Son.
A person is born again when they believe Jesus’s greatness as the Christ, the Savior of the world. But that is just the beginning. The more we learn of Him and the more we see the glory of His face, we will long for the day when we too will be “eyewitnesses of His majesty”. May we be people who never tire of seeking the face of Christ, and getting a better answer to His question – “who do you say that I am?”