What will it be like to meet Jesus?

"Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe."

Jim Allen

Every once in a while a question comes along that is unique and profound. It makes you think about things as you've never thought about them before. Jake, thinking about the day he would meet Jesus face-to-face, wanted to know if he would meet him like a long-lost friend or bow down before him in worship.

I suppose one answer would be that nobody knows for sure, but would that be the right answer? Can we know for sure? I think so, at least to some measure because the Bible reveals some things about meeting the Savior.

In my response back to the Jake, I explained that before we can meet Jesus face-to-face we need to meet him heart-to-heart (Ephesians 2:8). The well-worn pathway to Jesus is well documented in the Bible. We know the path. We've been on the pathway for a while now, some traveling months and even years before finding him.

We've read the verses and called upon Him to save us (Romans 9-13). Finding Jesus and coming to know him heart-to-heart is a great discovery unlike anything known. Once uncovered, the treasure brings joy and blessing and our heart transforms to follow wherever he goes (Matthew 13:44). About this discovery Barbara Lardinais writes,
If you have ever been told that following Jesus (being a Christian) is a bunch of do's and don'ts I can tell you that isn't true. It is about friendship, acceptance and love. (Source)
Well written Ms. Lardinais. To the apostles Jesus said, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed" (John 29:20).

Jesus is talking about a kind of faith and love that makes it possible to believe without seeing. To have this kind of faith is a boundless treasure because it is personal, it is special, and it is the gift that keeps on giving (Ephesians 2:8-9).

About such faith the Apostle Paul wrote, "For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it" (2 Corinthians 5:7-8).

The apostles saw Jesus face-to-face after his resurrection. Although glorified, Jesus did not display his full glory to the apostles for one very good reason. On the island of Patmos the apostle John writes, "And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as a dead man" (Revelation 1:17). About this falling down Jon W. Quinn writes:
Seeing Jesus in His glorified state had such an awe-inspiring effect on John that all his muscles lost their strength, his knees buckled and he fell limply to the ground...John's emotion, upon seeing Jesus, was holy fear. John had spent three years with Jesus in the flesh, and once had even seen Jesus glorified in a cloud when He had been 'transfigured' on the mountain, but even that had not prepared him to see Jesus as He was on this day. (Source)
I don't think any of us will ever be prepared (emotionally or any other way) to see Jesus, in his glorified state, for the first time. It will be an overwhelming event, a divine encounter marking that moment in one's memory for eternity.

The apostle Paul wrote, "But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him" (1 Corinthians 2:9).

What will it be like to see things never before seen? Ask a child who looks on a butterfly for the first time, runs through a field of wild flowers, or feels the loving embrace of a parent. To a child all discoveries are countless wonders never ceasing. To gaze upon Jesus for the first time will be wonders of wonders forever.

Jake asked if we would approach Jesus like an old friend on earth. I assured him we would not. Jesus is more than an old friend. He is God. He is the ascended and glorified Savior, Lord of Lords and King of Kings (Revelation 19:16). His very presence will drain us of all strength. We will bow down in His presence to worship as members of the heavenly host (Psalm 95:6).

Meeting Jesus will go far beyond meeting the most notable people on earth. You and I will come face-to-face with Immanuel (Matthew 1:23), the Alpha and the Omega (Revelation 22:13), the Lamb of God (John 1:29), Messiah (John 20:31), Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), and the Son of God (Mark 9:7).

And yes, Jesus will also be a friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24).

In closing, there will be no standing in a long line to meet Jesus. You will not need to take a number and wait your turn. God is omnipresence, everywhere at once. He abides in every believer, whether one or one billion in number. In glory, He is ever present, ever visible and ever before us as an eternal wonder (Psalm 40:5).

There are no words to describe what it will be like to meet Jesus.


Image Credit: Carl Bloch; "Transfiguration of Jesus"; Year; Public Domain

TagsEternity-Forever  | Jesus-Christ

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Published 8-12-2015