Do you ever picture people in your brain? If I have yet to meet someone in person, but have talked with them or even heard about them from someone else - I always craft a mental image in my brain. And whenever I think about them, that's what pops up. I create their identity, for myself, in my own brain. Sometimes, when I finally see them in person, I am surprised. Oh, she has brown hair? I just knew she was a blonde. Or, his voice is much deeper than I expected. What we have built up in our head just doesn't add up to reality.
Recently I have been reading Revelations. I'll admit I've never read the book in it's entirety, never studied it, I honestly don't know much about it. I guess its because I had filed it away as a "scary" book of the Bible. It talks about the end of times and whats to come, nobody wants to think about that, right? I decided to peruse it, mostly because my husband has been listening to a Bible study about it and his comments intrigued me.
I started in Chapter 1, and barely a few verses in I was already hooked. John, one of the disciples, is being shown visions by the Lord. He was given the privilege of seeing Jesus. He recognized Jesus because he knew Him on this Earth; however, he looked very different in this vision. John did not see the humble and wise teacher he knew here - he saw the holy, perfect Son of God, magnificent and mighty.
The description was amazing to me, Revelations 1:13-16 describes Jesus wearing a white robe with a golden sash around his chest. He had pure white hair, as white a snow. His eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were bronze and glowing in a furnace, his voice was like the sound of rushing water, his face was like the shining sun, and out of his mouth was like a double edged sword. My Bible commentary says his white hair shows his wisdom, his blazing eyes symbolize judgement of evil, the golden sash around his chest shows him as the high priest who goes into God's presence to advocate for us. Reread this paragraph slowly, take it in.
Right now, close your eyes and think of these descriptions God has given us of Jesus. Visualize his snowy white hair, fierce and fiery eyes, booming voice that overwhelms your senses, his awesome bright white robe and gold sash, think about how his feet seem to glow. How when he speaks, his tongue is a mighty sword. This is an almighty, overwhelming picture to me! It certainly isn't how I am used to picturing Jesus. Personally, I think about Him as he was described during his earthly ministry. An ordinary looking thirty-something year old man, I visualize him as dark skinned with long brown hair and a beard and dirty feet, I've never read that description in the Bible (the hair & skin) I just base it on his geographic location.
I imagine many people picture Jesus as the innocent, miraculous baby he certainly was. This is a safe, less culpable way of thinking of Jesus. A cute baby who came as a miracle. Many people can get down with that. No shame, no accusation of sin. Maybe you picture Jesus as dying on the cross. This was the ultimate sacrifice and price He paid for all of our sins. A perfect man who died for us. There is no harm in that, there is much GOOD in that. I am taking nothing away from the most precious gift of all. The thing about the picturing Him dying on the cross, though, is that He's no longer there. He defeated death and is alive again! Now!
I just wonder how many of us are TRULY thinking of Jesus as He deserves. Wholly God, wonderfully perfect, Risen Savior. The key here, I think, is Risen - He is Alive today, He is no longer that precious child, no longer the Earthly teacher, no longer even on the cross. He is with I AM, sitting at His right hand, awaiting His return.
Maybe if the next time we experience a trial, or now while we tread the trenches, we should practice visualizing Jesus as He is described in Revelation. The One who has the power of eternity. The One we can rely on when to move mountains, who is capable of parting seas. Perhaps if we just change our mindset, our faith may deepen and grow, we may see a few more glimpses of eternity.