Resurrection seeing

The resurrection teaches us to see.

Think of the encounters people had with the risen Jesus.

When Mary raced back from the empty tomb, trembling with Jesus’ resurrection power, she told the other disciples, “I have seen the Lord!” (John 20:18).

When the disciples were in the upper room, they told Thomas, “We have seen the Lord” (John 20:25).

When Paul defended his ministry, he said, “Have I not seen the Lord?” (1 Cor. 9:1).

To see Jesus is to have our world popped open.  The blinders come off.  We get a new sort of sight, a resurrection vision.  This is why James wrote that those who walk with Jesus “have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful” (James 5:11).  Our eyes are resurrected to God’s merciful purposes.

For most of us, this sort of seeing doesn’t come easy.  We’re thrown off by glitter and glamour and all that jazz.  We say, “I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing” when we’re really “wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked” (Rev. 3:17).  Our eyes have planks in them.  As the old hymn puts it: “All our knowledge, sense, and sight, lie in deepest darkness shrouded.”1

There’s the big stuff: the wrong side of the Ten Commandments.  But most of the time, our sins aren’t that dramatic.  We sin in common ways.  We aren’t murdering and stealing, but we’re gossiping and tearing others down.  We wouldn’t think of bowing to an actual idol, but we’re contemptuous and triangulating.  Our lives are splintered with anger, our eyes cataracted with racism.  

Jesus’ resurrection helps us to really see.  We see the ways that he inhabits the world.  We see his new life at work.  We catch glimpses of his kingdom.  This is resurrection seeing with resurrected eyes.

The Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote that “To love a person means to see him as God intended him to be.”2  Resurrection opens us up to that love.

Resurrection gives us a peek at life as God intended it.

 

“Blessed Jesus, at your word” #13 in Hymnal: A worship book

Quoted in Philip Yancey, What’s So Amazing about Grace? (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997), p.175.

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