I See You


“Set the timer for 60 minutes and do not stop till the timer goes off. Ask God to give you a glimpse of what the Lamb of God endured for you in order to take away your sin.” Such are the directions in my Bible study, and a mixture of excitement and anxiety quickens my pulse.

What if I miss it?

What if I sit for an hour, staring into thin air, and see nothing?

“Do what you’ve always done when you meet with Me. We have developed our own language together, so don’t be a stranger with Me now. Write to Me, the way you’ve always done since I first rescued you. There’s no pressure, no other audience. Come to Me like you’ve always done. I want to be with the real you.”

Peace is a deep breath.

As I begin to write, I begin to see.

I see the agony of Your Father, His heart breaking as He must send You into the womb of this precious, wide-eyed teenager whispering, “Yes.” Into the rejection of her people, into the haughty ignorance parading as righteousness, taunting Your mother because of You. A sword pierces Your Father’s Heart long before it pierces hers.

I see Your toddler soul tempted to get Your own way but fighting the impulses with every fiber of determination. Sometimes You let Your friends win just to give them that joy, and other times not, simply to hold on to what is just. But always, You look to their eyes and try to make them laugh. You like laughter.

I see You fighting the fantasies of raging hormones, a blossoming youth knowing You will never taste the human kisses Your lips yearn for. Though Your Spirit aches for the eternal Bride, Your body cries out for caresses now. Again, You resist and set Your mind on the joy before You.

You remain pure.

Pure in the midst of a cesspool insinuating otherwise, whispering about Your illegitimate origin, so oblivious that the unrighteousness ancestry is in us. Because we have no concept of the brilliant glories You left behind, we can’t fathom the dangerous evil we consider normal.

Inspiring every horror movie, every holocaust, every nightmare, every selfish inclination, this cunning mind holds us in his claws until Your Sacrifice breaks the curse. Even then, we have to accept it as valid and necessary before it does us any good. Ours is that crucial choice, Yours the torture that affords us the opportunity.

I see You pouring restoring goodness into miracle after miracle for the hurting, helpless masses always crowding around You, but to You they are not anonymous mobs. You see straight into each one’s soul, a cherished child You long to bring Home. Only not yet. Some never.

But when one gets it, when one rare spirit looks back into Your eyes and with wonder and gratitude recognizes their Maker, joy explodes in Your chest. This is why You came. This is why Your laughter illuminates the universe.

“In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!“ (Luke 15:7)

As Your dreaded day draws closer, I see the contempt and mockery intensify around You. Loneliness, being misunderstood, rejection — and the way even Your closest ones can’t grasp what You so patiently try to tell them — strangle Your human soul from the inside while prideful power moves motivated by small-minded ambitions and fears press in on You from the outside. Masterfully, Your ancient opponent maneuvers his chess pieces, and some are all too eager to comply.

The look in Judas’ eyes right before he kisses You: haughty disdain mixed with accusing questions he won’t ask, and yet You see a trapped animal. The misplaced zeal in Peter as he uses the sword in a defense Your self-control prohibits You from wielding. The scared, childlike confusion in John, Your beloved little brother… The tenderness in Your own eyes, Jesus, how could anyone ever look away?

What You do say we don’t understand. What You don’t say we fill in with our own broken knowledge. Has anyone ever truly known You?

From the arrest to the farce of a trial, time rushes past us like a train striking off its tracks. When the torture begins, time stops. I can’t breathe. I can’t bear it. Why do they slaughter You so slowly, Lamb of God? Why don’t You stop it, Father?

We all turn our faces away.

What if it is all a lie?
Were You ever who You claimed to be?
Nothing about this is right!
Was I a fool to ever trust You?

And You see our feeble minds grasp for meaning like drowning people pointlessly pushing each other down to survive. As if that ever helped. But deeper than our self-serving scrambling, You hear the cries of drowning children adrift in a sea of sin.

And that gives You strength to take one more step towards Your execution, one more step towards breaking the spell of death himself. Still, Your body is broken as You feel every flesh-ripping lash, every perverse insult from the drowning. More crushing than all is the curse itself as it constricts its horrors around You.

It’s when You are finally lifted up on a common criminal’s cross that I force myself to lift my eyes and survey Your unrecognizable face bludgeoned to a pulp, contorting in the moaning of the dying.

Around You are only Your closest ones: Your Mother, Your Beloved friend, and Mary Magdalene whose love You purified the way You did mine. Somehow You see each one of us right through to the core.

Somehow You’re looking right at me. None of the blame I expected to find there, none of the disappointment that often looks back at me from the mirror is in Your fully-present gaze. Nothing clouds the boundless, embracing affection that shines there like a life-giving sun from another world.

You know me through and through, every selfish motive, every hidden hurt, every throbbing longing. In one look You envelop it all in that dancing sunlight, and I am illuminated by visions from that other world of giggling children and worry-free parents and friendships restored to their fullness. I sense that sparkling River splashing exultant joy into the fragrant air, and I hear music breathing through living colors…

In Your eyes, I see the invitation to life as it will soon be. In Your eyes is the fully realistic awareness of my life as it actually is now, and one begins to transform the other. Absolute affection wraps me in Your sacrifice, and when You whisper, “It’s all for you!” I believe You.

Then You call me by my childhood name, and my soul leaps into the freedom of being who You made me to be.

I see Your ripped flesh and smell the fluids oozing from Your sores, and I know that it is enough. Truly, it is enough to atone for even my sin. Enough to atone for those who hurt me. Enough to release every fragment of unforgiveness, every residue of offense, every insufficiency of mine —all swallowed up in Your all-sufficient TETELESTAI.

IT IS FINISHED.

When the earthquake scares the city, and the darkness snuffs out all human pride for three hours, my soul is held in the Shalom of having seen You. Having been seen by You.

These shadowlands are now ours to illuminate, and as the shakings intensify, so does the childlike laughter from the other side: Those already Home singing and preparing our celebration entry.

Having seen You, I laugh more and love with more kindness.

In just the blink of an eye…

So I pass on the invitation:

Set the timer for 60 minutes and do not stop till the timer goes off. Ask God to give you a glimpse of what the Lamb of God endured for you in order to take away your sin.

I’d love to hear what you see.

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