The Face to Face Meeting with Jesus
By Donald Holliday
Gathering Home the Saints — Chapter 2
We read of Rebekah in Genesis 24:64, that when she saw Isaac she “lighted off her camel.”Actually, the Hebrew word allows the translation, she “fell off her camel”! What, I wonder, will be our emotions as we meet Jesus face to face?
All that journey Rebekah must have asked and learned so much about the Isaac she had never seen, and that faithful servant Eliezer, sent forth with the precious mission to find a wife meet for his master’s son, would readily tell her all that was in her heart to ask. Undoubtedly he spoke of the great riches of Isaac’s father, and his righteousness and faithfulness, yet how, above all else he possessed, he treasured most the son of his love. He would speak with such feeling of that wonderful act of offering Isaac, and of that son’s readiness to be offered, that it would bring tears to Rebekah’s eyes. And he would tell her of the great promise of blessing and happiness for all mankind that resulted from this act of faithfulness and love.
Isaac was indeed someone very special to be honored for the place he held in the purposes of God, but for Rebekah, there was a deeply personal meaning to all that she learned of this one she was on her way to meet. He was the one she was to marry. His future and her future were to become one. Everything they possessed would belong equally to each other, including that very special relationship with his father. Her only aim of existence would be forever to make him happy, just as her happiness would be his joy.
What would it be like that life of completed union? What would he be like, when, at the end of the journey, all her mental pictures and dreams would, like the light of a candle, be swallowed up in that first noonday glimpse of his smile as she meets him face to face? Now does he walk to meet her, and as he steps towards her the whole objective and goal of the long journey is realized!
The express desire of Isaac’s father, the love of Isaac toward this future bride, the mission of Eliezer, the joy of Rebekah, for each it is the moment of blissful realization.
And so with us, the One “Whom, having not seen, we love, in Whom, though now we see Him not, yet believing (in His love and desire towards us) we rejoice,” with the unspeakable joy of one betrothed to the most wonderful person in the whole universe, the express image of His Father’s glory.
The face of Jesus, as described by Paul, was as a light from heaven above the brightness of the sun at noon. In that face Paul knew he had looked upon the glory of God. John, in vision, also saw that face “as the sun shining in its strength.” The word he uses signifies its full dynamic power, a brightness too great for human eyes to bear. Symbology, yet conveying great truth concerning this wonderful Being to Whom no human form nor any glory of the celestial spheres can compare. Such language is as the smoked glass that enables us to view the unviewable, and to glimpse something of that glory filtered down to human tolerance of vision, though humanly incomprehensible.
Face to face with Christ my Savior,
Face to face, what will it be,
When in glory I behold Him,
Jesus Christ, Who died for me?
And shall we say when thus we meet, “Who art Thou Lord?”
It was Eliezer who identified Isaac to Rebekah. That same Spirit of God that has led us all the way, will then complete its sacred task of union long before begun. There will be no mistaking that One endowed beyond all measure with that Spirit, that same Spirit that has so long linked our hearts with His. “Thine eyes shall see the King in His beauty…” When we think of a person we think of his face. The face identifies, and the face is the index of character, the eyes, the windows of the soul. Only in such human terms may we now envisage that meeting with the Lord Jesus.
The woman’s description in the ‘Song of Songs’ of the one she loves can find no feature of her beloved that is not altogether lovable. The choicest language known to man is there used to describe this wonderful warmth and beauty of character that we call Our Lord Jesus. Here is that Wonderful Being Who, at His Father’s command, brought into being everything that is made.
The mystery of the atom, and the secrets of life, the laws of the universe that hold all things together in a state of constant vibrant power, all is known to Him, the Wisdom of an all-wise God. What immeasurable comprehension, skill, and mighty power.
We shall stand before that One, Who, having made the great nebulae of unfathomable space, and strung the necklace of a myriad stars to form the Milky Way of light across the heavens, at the same voice of His Father, descended to this earth, to be born of woman, and to share in wondrous intimacy every feeling of the human creature He had made. So close does He come, and so close shall we stand before the Source of that love, that uttermost love for me, witnessed at Golgotha, the same in glory. Do I know anyone who, in love for me, would diefor me?
What shall I say or do when I stand right there before my Savior and Redeemer?
“Mary”, “Rabboni!” When Mary then clung to the Savior’s feet what depths of emotion overflowed and were shared between them both. What glimpse is here suggested to the mind of that sweet hour in the experience of each redeemed one when he meets his Savior! Where human language fails, those depths of each heart’s gratitude and love will be expressed by perfect vehicles of adoration and praise. All that we want to say to Him that now we can only express in our tears, all the love we hold for Him, all will be told, face to face.
The veil still intervenes, hiding from our eyes the full knowledge of what that meeting yet will be, but our heart observes no such limitations. Our heart can pass, even now, beyond that veil to feel the warmth and preciousness of that indescribable moment. Our heart can feel the desires of His heart mingling with the desires of our heart, and that mutual ache is drawing us ever closer towards that moment of mutual satisfaction and delight.
Rebekah also was veiled, and only with the eyes of faith could Isaac anticipate the full beauty he would yet behold in her. Jesus, and His Bride, each by faith can penetrate that veil, and see beyond all present limitations of time those precious glimpses of that moment of joy unspeakable and full of glory when we meet. Then shall all veils be lifted, and we shall seeface to face, and know Him as we are and shall be forever known of Him.