..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)

Friday, June 05, 2009

Have I Not Seen The Lord?

by Derek Gitsham

"And last of all he was seen of me also,
as of one born out of due time." I Corinthians 15:8

The Apostle Paul was not numbered among the
first and original Apostles. Yet he made
the claim along with them that he had seen
the Lord. In a previous chapter (9:1), he
mentions again that he had seen the Lord,
in defense of his apostleship to the Corinthians.

The reason for this was that they were questioning
his authority over them, so he needed to clarify
his position among them, and to give proof of his
Apostleship. In another reference he says that
the signs of an apostle were “wrought among you
in all patience, in signs and wonders and mighty
deeds” (II Corinthians 12:12).

The interesting thing to note here is that Paul
had never seen Jesus in the flesh, yet compares
what had happened to him on the Damascus Road as
the same as seeing Jesus in the flesh after He was
risen from the dead. All the references in
I Corinthians 15 were to those who had seen Jesus
raised from the dead, but he also lists the names
and includes a number of five hundred who also had
seen Him. There were infallible proofs to Jesus
being raised. Right in the middle of all their
claims, Paul says, ‘He was seen of me.’

This was obviously a spiritual event, a light shining
from heaven, and Jesus speaking to Paul. The many
who had seen Jesus alive after His death became
eyewitnesses to His Resurrection. Though Paul
includes himself among those chosen ones, his
personal encounter with Jesus was a special
moment for him.

Jesus was now in the glory, at the right hand of
God, revealing Himself to Saul of Tarsus; an event
that would change him forever and save him. Paul
did not see just a resurrected Jesus, but an ascended
and glorified Jesus. Was not this an honour being
bestowed on him that was to greatly affect the whole
Christian world throughout the Church Age? To see Him
in His glorified state was indeed something Paul would
never forget. Surely the Holy Ghost comes to bear
witness to and glorify Jesus. May we seek to encounter
the Risen and Glorified Christ and may let Him be
glorified in us all today.

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