Links Daily Devotional

Our Visible Lord

“Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” (Acts 7:56, NIV)

In the age of television and now social media, we have grown accustomed to seeing and recognizing the kind of people that our parents and grandparents only read about. For them, a grainy photograph might have appeared on occasion in a newspaper, or a barnstorming trip may have brought an actor or an athlete to town.

Jesus is revealed as far more than words on a page; he is enlivened in our hearts, minds, and souls by the indwelling Spirit.ow we say that major champions play golf in our living rooms, both the current ones and those of the past. The coiling and recoiling of Arnold Palmer’s Masters-winning swings haven’t disappeared with the man. We can see them for ourselves through the wonder of YouTube and Golf Channel’s tributes to Arnie and others—even enhanced to show better on high definition platforms than they ever did in the days of rabbit ears and UHF dials.

“Seeing is believing” is hardly worth saying anymore. We can see pretty much anything (and too much of some things!).

But when it comes to Jesus, we have among the things “of first importance” (1 Corinthians 15:3-6) this: After his resurrection, Christ appeared to the apostles and more than 500 other witnesses. That is, they saw him. In his flesh and blood. With their own eyes.

It’s hard to get excited about this these days. Of course they saw him, our mind thinks. If he was living, why wouldn’t they?

Our disinterest might arise from the nature of our own image-saturated culture. But this makes it no less curious. Because if anything, we should be jealous of those 500-plus. They saw him. In his flesh and blood. With their own eyes. You and I have not done this.

And yet this does not mean that Jesus is “invisible” to us.

For one, Christ is visible in the living and active Word of God. We might complain that this is like those gray-columned newspaper reports of yesteryear, but for this: God’s Word comes to life for each of us who believe upon the illumination of the Holy Spirit. Jesus is revealed as far more than words on a page; he is enlivened in our hearts, minds, and souls by the indwelling Spirit.

Moreover, Christ is visible through those he indwells. We are imperfect vessels, no doubt, and yet he is there in us—speaking by his Spirit through us (Matthew 10:20) and making his appeal unto salvation through us (2 Corinthians 5:20). When we abide in him, he abides in us (John 15:4).

Finally, there are those dying words of Stephen, who saw Jesus just before he “fell asleep” and the Lord received his spirit. We may never see Jesus on earth as Stephen did, even in our waning moments. But we will see him most assuredly, for even those who do not believe will face him at the judgment. For us who believe, however, what a wonder this is, that the one we love—and the one who loves us!—will come into plain view, he glorified and us glorifying him for eternity.

Jeff Hopper
April 17, 2017
Copyright 2017 Links Players International
The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at www.linksplayers.com.