Summary: Imagine you are in Christ’s presence.
I Can Only Imagine
The song "I Can Only Imagine" by the group Mercy Me has really gotten a grip on me. I haven’t found another song on the CD that has done this for me, as it is not my normal genre of music. However, I am wearing out that track and burning up the player in my pickup truck. I wish I could sing it half as well as they do so that I could make it a part of my ministry when I preach at various churches though some of them might throw me out before I get to preach because of the beat of that song.
For those who have not heard the song the singer is imagining what he will see and what he will do when he actually stands before the glorified Lord. He wonders if he will dance or be still in awe. Will he stand or fall to his knees? Will he sing alleluia or will he be able to speak at all. It is a gripping concept for we will also someday stand before Him. What we will see or do? Some folks have done this already and their experiences are recorded for us in Scripture. I want to look at a few.
1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.
2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.
3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.
6 Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:
7 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.
8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. (KJV)
For those who might question if this was Jesus that Isaiah saw, I point you to John 12:38-41. This is one of many of Jesus’ pre-incarnate appearances known as a theophany. It is obvious that the presence and glory of Christ in this vision is enough to provoke Isaiah to confess which then prepares him for his voluntary cry of "Send me!" Sadly, most Christians must have been exposed to the military adage of "Never volunteer!" Either that or they have a lot of confessing they need to do to get the clean lips that cry out for opportunities for service. May we all get such a vision and cleansing before we meet Him and there is no longer any time to serve Him here.
14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.
15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? Whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.
16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.
17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. (KJV)
Women were last at the Cross and first at the tomb. Mary saw Him in His resurrected and yet not glorified state since He had not yet ascended to the Father and sat down on His throne. She did not recognize Him at first. This may have been in part to it still being before sunrise plus looking through eyes puffed from crying and tears still running, but I also think there may have been a physical change. His voice was a bit different for she did not immediately recognize it, but when He said her name in the way that He had always said it she knew and rejoiced falling at His feet in worship not wanting to let go of Him. We all need to pray for that kind of love that clings to Him and rejoices in His presence so that when we see Him face to face we may have that same confidence to run and hug Him or even touch His feet. (I John 2:28)