Contemplation of Jesus
By Alan Redpath
I saw in Him the glory of a life lived in total abandonment to the sovereign will of His Father in heaven. I saw a life lived in utter poverty yet in absolute contentment. I saw a life triumph over every point where I have failed. I have seen Him come so near the poor, to those who are sick, and to those who are in need. I have seen Him holy, separate, harmless, and undefiled; so close to the sinner yet never contaminated. Ah, but most of all I have seen His tears, I have heard His crying, and I have listened to the cry which said, "Oh my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt" (Matt.a 26:39). I have seen the nail prints, the marks in His hands and His side; I have heard the cry, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken Me?" (Matt. 27:46). I have seen Him made sin on my behalf, God in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself. I have seen the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ and, bless His holy name, I have seen an empty tomb, an ascended Savior.
I have had a clear view of Jesus. I have seen Him, felt Him, and I have known Him in a far deeper way than simply by the outward physical appearance; I have felt the reality of His life begin to burn in my heart. I have seen in Christ the glory of a life that is totally submitted to the sovereignty of God. That glory has begun to take hold of me, and I have begun to see that this is the one life that God expects of any man He made in His own image. I have seen the marks of the cross upon Him, and by His grace the marks of the cross have been put upon me and I am no longer my own; I am bought with a price, redeemed by His precious blood. Yes, I have seen Him--not in the outward physical sense only, but in the inward sense of a deep spiritual reality. I have had a clear view of Jesus and my life will never be the same again. . . .
The man who gazes upon and contemplates day by day the face of the Lord Jesus Christ, and who has caught the glow of the reality that the Lord is not a theory but an indwelling power and force in his life, is as a mirror reflecting the glory of the Lord.
Give up the struggle and the fight; relax in the omnipotence of the Lord Jesus; look up into His lovely face and as you behold Him, He will transform you into His likeness. You do the beholding--He does the transforming. There is no short-cut to holiness.
" . . . Changed into the same image from glory to glory . . . " -- this is a lifelong, glorious experience, and it will be perfected one day in heaven. Paul tells us (Phil. 3:21) that He "shall change our vile body [this body of sin in which dwells no good thing], that it maybe fashioned like unto His glorious body . . . " Yes, He will do that! (Blessings Out of Buffetings, Studies in 2 Corinthians, pp. 44-48).
But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place (2 Corinthians 2:14).