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Monday, February 25, 2013

The Vision Thing (14): Seeing Christ

Repeatedly I have asserted that all true vision starts with a vision God gives us of himself, a vision that is really the invisible God's self-emanation seen in his Son, Jesus Christ. I'm back to that assertion again. The prophets who had overwhelming, world-shattering visions that extended far beyond their earthly careers were seeing visions of Jesus—and they knew it.

According to Peter, even though their vision came from God, a vision from outside themselves that they could take no credit for, nevertheless they thought deeply and carefully about its implications and fulfillment:
Concerning this salvation, the prophets who predicted the grace that would come to you searched and investigated carefully. They probed into what person or time the Spirit of Christ was indicating when he testified beforehand about the sufferings appointed for Christ and his subsequent glory. They were shown that they were serving not themselves but you . . . [1 Pet. 1:10-12].
These prophets tried to figure out whom the Spirit of the Anointed One was talking about. They couldn't get a clear fix on him—though they were told that future generations would—but they knew it was Someone specific they were being shown. Though the portrait was blurry and the image was obscure, they knew that they were seeing Christ. Abraham saw Christ's day. David saw Christ's resurrection. Isaiah saw Christ's glory. They didn't know who the Christ was, but they saw him.

This might seem like a historical curiosity for us, who have been granted to know exactly whom these prophets wrote about. But there is an application for us as well. These prophets' visions, though wide-ranging, all came down to Christ in the end. The visions were based on him, were centered in him, were concluded in him. Likewise for us, if our vision is truly God's vision, it too will be based on Christ, centered on Christ, and conclude in Christ. Our vision will be all about Christ—it will be such that if there was no Christ, our vision would be logically absurd.

Test your vision, your family's vision, your church's vision, your organization's vision by this: when I see the vision, am I by necessity seeing Christ?

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