Have you ever meditated upon the visions of Christ in his glory recorded in the Bible? I invite you to join me in doing so now. The Lord Jesus Christ comes on the clouds of the heavens, not just in the painting on the left, but spiritually right now he comes with open arms to you…
Do you want to behold Jesus in your heart? Pray that you’d see him now as you read this article and meditate on the Scriptures…
“I Saw the Lord!”
“I saw the Lord!” the prophet Isaiah writes. No one can see the Lord and live we read in the Old Testament and yet Isaiah saw the Lord and lived.
In fact there are a number of instances recorded in the Bible of prophets and apostles having visions of Christ in his glory. Some of the prophets of the Old Testament saw Christ before his incarnation. Some of the apostles saw Jesus in his glory — both while he was still walking on earth and after his crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension into heaven.
Apparently, God lets himself be seen by people, not in total, but in part, like when the Lord passed by Moses and let him see his glory from behind.
The Impact of Visions of Christ
Wow! To see the Lord Jesus Christ shining in his glory is awesome!
When people in the Bible see the Lord glorified they fall down as though dead. At the same time usually Christ or an angel says, “Do not be afraid!”
And we are reminded of the huge problem that God has. He is so glorious that we cannot look upon him and live and yet is so loving that he did not want to live without us. He shines like the sun and yet he coos like a dove. He delights to have to John, the beloved disciple, leaning on his chest and yet John trembles falls down like a dead man when he sees the resurrected Christ in Revelation!
What can we say about being caught up in the heavens with visions of Christ? To behold the Lord Jesus Christ glorified with our physical eyes or with the eyes of our heart changes us. Just to meditate upon our Lord and to picture him with our mind as we read the Gospels changes us.
True visions of Christ change how see God. They change how we see ourselves and how we live. They inspire us to worship him. They empower us to serve him with our lives.
In the centuries since the Bible was written countless people have seen visions of Christ in his glory that changed their lives forever! Of course, most people don’t get to have amazing supernatural revelations of God. (And no doubt many of the people who claim to have had visions of Christ have not.)
One modern day vision of Christ (pictured to the left) that I’ve appreciated came from Akiane when she was a little girl. Look at Jesus’ face… Behold him in your heart… What an illuminated face of love! Intense and yet soft. Pure and yet standing in a dark world.
She painted her vision of Jesus’ face and millions of people have beheld her picture of Jesus’ face! Akiane was interviewed in The Washington Times, “Lori’s Centiments” feature and explained what it is like for her to have a “vision from God”:
“A vision is like an oasis in a desert. You can’t have it all the time, as you need to keep on continuing your journey through the desert of life experiences, full of faith trials… I am not so concerned about waiting for a vision to appear because I know it will come to me when I least expect it… I still do have visions that inspire my work.”
It’s not having supernatural visions of Christ that are important (they are not a sign of spiritual maturity), but setting the eyes of our hearts upon knowing Christ personally and becoming more like him today.
Visions of Christ Glorified in the Bible
We all can behold the glory of risen Christ in our hearts by worshiping him as he is revealed in Scripture. We all can live in the fellowship of the transfigured face. These visions of Christ from the Bible will help. (All Bible verses are from the NIV84 unless indicated otherwise.)
The Psalmist saw the Lord riding on the clouds as his chariots
“He makes the clouds his chariot and rides on the wings of the wind” (Psalm 104:3b, NIV).
Isaiah saw the Holy One in a flowing robe that filled the temple
“I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. Hovering around him were mighty seraphim, each with six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with the remaining two they flew. In a great chorus they sang, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty! The whole earth is filled with his glory!’ The glorious singing shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire sanctuary was filled with smoke.
Then I said, ‘My destruction is sealed, for I am a sinful man and a member of a sinful race. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord Almighty!’ Then one of the seraphim flew over to the altar, and he picked up a burning coal with a pair of tongs. He touched my lips with it and said, ‘See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven.’
Then I heard the Lord asking, ‘Whom should I send as a messenger to my people? Who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Lord, I’ll go! Send me’ (Isaiah 6:1b-8, NLT).
Ezekiel saw the heavens open and the Lord appeared glowing like a rainbow
“I was with the Judean exiles beside the Kebar River in Babylon, the heavens were opened to me, and I saw visions of God… As I looked, I saw a great storm coming toward me from the north, driving before it a huge cloud that flashed with lightning and shone with brilliant light. The fire inside the cloud glowed like gleaming amber. From the center of the cloud came four living beings… As [the living beings] flew their wings roared like waves crashing against the shore, or like the voice of the Almighty, or like the shouting of a mighty army. When they stopped, they let down their wings…
Above the surface over their heads was what looked like a throne made of blue sapphire. And high above this throne was a figure whose appearance was like that of a man. From his waist up, he looked like gleaming amber, flickering like a fire. And from his waist down, he looked like a burning flame, shining with splendor. All around him was a glowing halo, like a rainbow shining through the clouds.
This was the way the glory of the Lord appeared to me. When I saw it, I fell face down in the dust, and I heard someone’s voice speaking to me… The voice said to me, ‘Son of man, eat what I am giving you – eat this scroll. Then go and give its message to the people… it tasted as sweet as honey” (Ezekiel 1:1, 4-5a, 24, 26-27, 3:1a, 3b, NLT).
Daniel saw the Lord dazzling like a gem and his face flashed like lightening
“When this vision came to me, I, Daniel, had been in mourning for three weeks. All that time I had eaten no rich food or meat, had drunk no wine, and had used no fragrant oils. On April 23, as I was standing beside the great Tigris River, I looked up and saw a man dressed in linen clothing, with a belt of pure gold around his waist. His body looked like a dazzling gem. From his face came flashes like lightning, and his eyes were like flaming torches. His arms and feet shone like polished bronze, and his voice was like the roaring of a vast multitude of people…
When I heard him speak, I fainted and lay there with my face to the ground. Just then a hand touched me and lifted me, still trembling, to my hands and knees. And the man said to me, ‘O Daniel, greatly loved of God, listen carefully to what I have to say to you. Stand up, for I have been sent to you.’ When he said this to me, I stood up, still trembling with fear…
While he was speaking to me, I looked down at the ground, unable to say a word. Then the one who looked like a man touched my lips, and I opened my mouth and began to speak. I said to the one standing in front of me, ‘I am terrified by the vision I have seen, my lord, and I am very weak. How can someone like me, your servant, talk to you, my lord? My strength is gone, and I can hardly breathe.’
Then the one who looked like a man touched me again, and I felt my strength returning. ‘Don’t be afraid,’ he said, ‘for you are deeply loved by God. Be at peace; take heart and be strong!’ As he spoke these words, I suddenly felt stronger” (Daniel 10:2-6, 9-11, 15-19a, NLT).
Habakkuk saw rays of brilliant light flash from the Lord’s hands
“I see God, the Holy One, moving across the deserts from Edom and Mount Paran. His brilliant splendor fills the heavens, and the earth is filled with his praise! What a wonderful God he is! Rays of brilliant light flash from his hands. He rejoices in his awesome power. Pestilence marches before him; plague follows close behind. When he stops, the earth shakes. When he looks, the nations tremble. He shatters the everlasting mountains and levels the eternal hills…
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation. The Sovereign LORD is my strength! He will make me as surefooted as a deer and bring me safely over the mountains” (Habakkuk 3:3-6a, 16-19, NLT).
The Apostles saw sunlight pour from Christ’s face
“[Jesus’] appearance changed from the inside out, right before their eyes. Sunlight poured from his face. His clothes were filled with light. Then they realized that Moses and Elijah were also there in deep conversation with him.
Peter broke in, ‘Master, this is a great moment! What would you think if I built three memorials here on the mountain – one for you, one for Moses, one for Elijah?’ While he was going on like this, babbling, a light-radiant cloud enveloped them, and sounding from deep in the cloud a voice: ‘This is my Son, marked by my love, focus of my delight. Listen to him.’ When the disciples heard it, they fell flat on their faces, scared to death. But Jesus came over and touched them. ‘Don’t be afraid.’” (Matthew 17:2-7, MSG).
Saul saw the Lord as light from heaven that flashed around him
“As [Saul] neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ ‘Who are you, Lord?’ Saul asked. ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied. ‘Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.’ The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless” (Acts 9:3-7a, NIV).
John saw the resurrected Christ in a long robe with white hair and face shining as the sun
“It was the Lord’s Day, and I was worshiping in the Spirit. Suddenly, I heard a loud voice behind me, a voice that sounded like a trumpet blast. It said, ‘Write down what you see, and send it to the seven churches’… I saw seven gold lampstands. And standing in the middle of the lampstands was the Son of Man. He was wearing a long robe with a gold sash across his chest. His head and his hair were white like wool, as white as snow. And his eyes were bright like flames of fire. His feet were as bright as bronze refined in a furnace, and his voice thundered like mighty ocean waves. He held seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp two-edged sword came from his mouth. And his face was as bright as the sun in all its brilliance.
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. But he laid his right hand on me and said, ‘Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last. I am the living one who died. Look, I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave’” (Revelation 1:10-18, NLT).
“His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns… He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses… Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” (Revelation 19:12-16).