Most of us have a picture of what Jesus looks like, whether it is a painting we have seen, or an actor who played Jesus in a movie.
Obviously, Jesus didn’t walk around with an IPhone taking “selfies”, and publishing them on His Instagram account.
The view we have of Jesus will be determined by the way He reveals Himself to each one of us.
He wants to show up in our lives.
The one thing that has kept me pressing into my destiny is how He has appeared to me when I have needed Him most.
Jesus Came In Unexpected Ways
I am astounded by the many various ways Jesus shows up, and yet many people miss it because they expect Him to show up in a certain way that limits their ability to see Him.
He came to his own yet his own did not recognize or receive him (John 1:10).
Take for instance, the Jewish people who expected Jesus the Messiah King to come with power and position, so they would be saved from Roman tyranny. Instead, Jesus was born to an unknown couple in a simple stable without any public recognition or position of governmental or military power.
God’s announcement of His Son’s birth came to unlearned shepherds rather than to Jewish rabbis who studied the Torah daily.
Then he lived in obscurity until He was 30, working as a carpenter. Even His own brothers didn’t recognize who He was while growing up.
Even though He did miracles, the religious leaders refused to see Him as God.
At the end of His campaign to save the world, he rode into Jerusalem on a donkey instead of a white horse, which would have been a sign of a conquering king instead of a peaceful prophet who was a king. He was crucified instead of celebrated.
In the end, everyone rejected Him. They couldn’t see who He was as they laid His body in the grave.
But when Easter Sunday came, Jesus began to reveal Himself to those who had been previously blinded to His true Presence.
Jesus Wants To Open Our Eyes To See Him
After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene, who was a demonized woman He had delivered, and then had followed Jesus throughout the rest of His ministry (John 20:16).
After Jesus was crucified, died, and was buried, we find her weeping at Jesus’ tomb. When Jesus appears to her, she thinks He’s the gardener. Instead of chastising her, however, He reveals Himself to her as the resurrected Christ.
Immediately she is flooded with comfort, peace, and joy, as her eyes are opened to be able to see Jesus.
He has appeared to me in the same way. Maybe not visibly, but in a tangible peace that has comforted me in some of the worst moments of my life. In times of pain and disillusionment I have searched for Him and He revealed Himself to me.
Like Mary, who thought Jesus was the gardener, sometimes, it takes me awhile to recognize His Face because our pain is deep, but then, all of a sudden, He appears and we see Him.
He continued to show up to His disciples in ways that took them by surprise, and on a few occasions they thought they had seen a ghost, until once again, Jesus opened their eyes to see Him in truth.
I often think of the two disciples walking on the road to Emmaus with Jesus, yet not even knowing it was Him until He opens up the eyes of their hearts as they broke bread together (Luke 24:13-30).
He would also show up at unusual and unexpected times, like at fishing trips, gatherings, or in the middle of discussion groups.
He showed up to assure them of who He is, and help them grasp the nature of the Kingdom, along with their destiny in the world.
Like the disciples, so many times I have been with friends and family and His Presence shows up and we all know that we have been with Jesus as His Spirit teaches us about the Kingdom, and about how we can influence the world by revealing His powerful presence.
Have You Seen Jesus Lately?
As we celebrate Easter, and the next 50 days up to Pentecost, let’s find Jesus by sharing our hearts with Him and those we love. Let’s expect an unexpected encounter with Jesus.
These wonderful accounts of Jesus recorded in the Bible share how He creatively revealed Himself to those searching for His Presence.
God oftentimes shows up in our creative expressions.
I can’t tell you how many times God has revealed Himself to me in new ways as I have ventured into new levels of creativity and creative expressions.
Even more, as I create in a painting, a song, dance, or writing, I am recording the story of His Presence coming upon me, so that others can enter into the same encounter I have had.
Let’s not limit when and how Jesus can show up in our lives.
On that first resurrection Sunday, Jesus appeared to those who followed Him. He is still revealing Himself today to those who are willing to have eyes that see.
Jesus Wants To Reveal Himself Through Us
His presence is manifest in the ways I choose to love those He loves and to reach out and touch those who no one sees.
For the past six months, one of my creative outreach teams went to play music at mentally and physically disabled care facility. My team has led so many to the Lord, as they have simply been Jesus’ voice to them through their creative prophetic songs to each one of the clients.
If we follow Jesus’ example, then we need to see that the Kingdom comes through love, not with words alone, but with the demonstration of power through our creative expressions that release the presence of the Spirit.
Let’s set our eyes on seeing Jesus this Easter, and then, helping others to see Him through reaching out to other with what we create.
Remember, You are Born to Create