We know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he really is. — 1 John 3:2
I often wonder if it would make a difference in our lives if we could see God. Probably the biggest obstacle (or excuse) for most people who do not believe in Him is the fact that He cannot be seen. I often wonder if God just flat out revealed Himself to them…would they really turn to Him? Even while following Jesus, Phillip (one of the disciples) struggled. In John 14:8 he just blurts out “show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus simply replies “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father.”
We are all a lot like Phillip…at least I am. I sometimes wish God would just open the windows of Heaven for a little bit and let me see. I have words on a page to tell me what it’s like, but I want to see. At the same time…I don’t. Thomas, who has been unfairly labeled a doubter, told the other disciples “unless I see with my own eyes, I will not believe.” Jesus revealed himself to Thomas and said “you believe because you have seen, blessed are those who believe and have not seen.” (John 20:29)
So there it is. As much as I would like to see, I also want to be blessed. Therefore, I want to believe without having to see. When I read my Bible, I really don’t think seeing him would make that big of a difference. The Old Testament Israelites got to see some ridiculously cool stuff. Yet, when the disappointments of regular life happened, they complained and murmured against Him and the leaders that He appointed. Even now, I can put my finger on ridiculously awesome things that I know only God could have done for me, yet doubt and fear can grab a hold of me in an instant.
There are two ways that humans can see God. The first is the most difficult because it must be done with “spiritual eyes.“ God came down from Heaven in the form of Jesus Christ. Can you see Him? I can. I know quite a few men and women who can too. He is the one who gave his life for us. He left all that Glory in Heaven to come down here and give sinful men a chance. He showed us how life is to be lived. He demonstrated his love for us in this, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8) That is really all we need to know. He loves us! Now, we must begin to love Him in return. We have this lifetime to start and maintain a relationship with him that will extend forever. It is only by faith in Him that this relationship can begin.
Take a few moments to close your eyes and see Him on the cross. Don’t forget what Jesus told Peter: “If I wanted to, I could call on 12 legions of angels.” (Matthew 26:53) In other words, “if I wanted to…I could destroy all of these people harming me.” In light of that…see Him on the cross. See Him pierced for your transgressions. See Him bruised for your iniquity. He does not have to be there…He wants to be there. See Him!
In some way or another, Jesus looked nearly 2,000 years into the future and said “Adam Hopkins is going to need me. He is going to live a life of sin…it is going to leave Him empty and miserable. When Adam comes to his senses, he is going to cry out to me. I have to punish his sins. I don’t want to punish him…therefore I will take his punishment upon myself so he will be free to love me and have fellowship with me. Adam Hopkins is worth it!”
Read that paragraph again and put in your own name. Don’t you want to love Him? Don’t you want with all your heart to figure out how to love him back? I can’t wait for the day that I see Him as He really is. This is the second way that we will see Him…and it will be easy. “Eyes have not seen, ears have not heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man the things that the Father has prepared for those that love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9) Yes, one day these eyes will see! One day these ears will hear!
And it will be awesome!