“But We See Jesus”
“But we see Jesus.” (Hebrews 2:9)
First, let us endeavour to describe the characters who see Jesus.
In the first place, we have to take notice of the characters who see Jesus spiritually. Observe the term used, “We see Jesus.” He is to be seen only by the eye of living faith. No man can see Jesus spiritually without he is made a partaker of the Spirit and grace of God. “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned.” (1st Corinthians 2:14). But Jesus and the things of Jesus, are spiritually seen and discerned by God’s spiritual people. Man in a state of nature without the quickening influence of divine grace in his soul, may see Jesus speculatively and nominally; he may see Him with a theoretical knowledge as He is set forth in the Bible as Saviour and Redeemer; but he cannot see Him spiritually without living faith. Balaam saw Him in a natural sense, and spake glorious things concerning Him; but Balaam did not see Him with the spiritual eye of faith as connected with the salvation of his soul. He had a consciousness of this; hence he says, “I shall see him, but not now. I shall behold him, but not nigh.” (Numbers 24:17). His conscience told him that he should see Jesus as an angry judge, which made him tremble and desire that he might die the death of the righteous, and that his last end might be like theirs. But his heart bore testimony against him that he did not want to live the life of the righteous, nor have the grace of God in his heart as they do. He never saw by faith the Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour and Friend, nor as the Redeemer of his soul.
No man ever did, ever will, nor ever can see Jesus really and truly as He is, and enjoy His preciousness, but those who are brought to see and feel their need of Him. Sinners, naturally dead in sin, must be made spiritually alive before they can see Jesus. A sinner in a state of nature is in a state of darkness. Darkness covers the great deep of his heart; and gross darkness the minds of the people. “Ye were sometimes darkness,” says the Apostle, “but now are ye light in the Lord” (Ephesians 5:8). While a man or woman remains dead in sin, in a state of darkness and alienation from God, though he or she may be a vessel of mercy, and may have a personal interest in the salvation of Jesus, yet they never can see the Person of Christ nor the glory of Christ till divine life and light is communicated. The Lord Jesus Christ is to them while in this state, as the Prophet Isaiah describes – “a root out of a dry ground: who hath no form nor comeliness;” and when they shall see Him, “there is no beauty” that they “should desired him.” (Isaiah 53:2)
“But we see Jesus.” When the Holy Spirit takes possession of a sinner’s conscience; gives him to see his sin, guilt, blindness, ignorance, and darkness, and causes him to feel what a rebellious, lost, ruined, and undone sinner he is; what a transgressor and law-breaker he is before the LORD; all hope and expectation of saving himself is at once cut off by God’s holy law. Yet the poor soul, all the time he remains under these spiritual convictions, does not see Jesus as His Saviour and Redeemer; he is as Paul writes to the Galatians, “shut up unto the faith which shall afterwards be revealed.” He now sees only his sin, guilt, and misery; he discovers only an angry God in a broken law: he knows himself only as a vile transgressor, an enemy, and a rebel. He feels that he has sinned against heaven, and in the sight of the LORD, and that he is not worthy of the least of God’s mercies; and what to do, or where to go, he cannot tell. His soul is all but sinking into despair; so that at times he wishes that he had never been born, or that he was not possessed of a never-dying soul. Darkness is on his mind in reference to how God can be just, and yet the justifier of such a sinner as he sees and feels himself to be. But the Holy Spirit gives this soul a glimpse of Jesus; this inspires hope, and a ray of encouragement is communicated to his waiting heart.
The Holy Ghost never did, nor will He show such a sinner an end of perfection in himself and bring him into needy circumstances in his feelings before the LORD, and then leave him there. O no; that soul shall have an earnest and fervent cry put into his heart for help and salvation. The Holy Spirit will lead him to wrestle and plead with the LORD at the footstool of mercy for a discovery of Jesus to his conscience. When the LORD speaks by His Spirit in His word to this poor soul, He says, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” (Isaiah 45:18)
“A just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.” (Isaiah 45:21)
The man may have been trying to save himself, but he could not: all he could do was to sink deeper into despondency and misery; so that at length he becomes afraid lest the pit should open its mouth on him, and swallow him up. Many in this state of mind have been so deeply exercised with these feelings that they have been afraid to close their eyes in sleep lest when they awake they should open them in the pit of perdition.
When the Holy Spirit leads the soul to see how the Lord Jesus Christ has espoused his cause in covenant and counsel, in the ancient purposes of His love; when He works faith in his heart to receive this glorious truth, and applies it with divine power to his soul, then he feels a happy liberty. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God; and now the soul finds the truth of this blessed declaration, that “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” (1st Timothy 1:15)
These are sinners who are sick of sin, who are sorrowing on account of it, whose hearts are full of despondency and disquietude, and who want the manifestation and revelation of the blood of Jesus to be applied to their wounded consciences. When the Holy Ghost enables the soul to look by faith to the ability, the willingness, and the all-sufficiency of Jesus to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by Him – what a blessed sight it is to him! what a heart-cheering, soul-ravishing, Christ-exalting view it is to his soul! Then he sees that the Lord Jesus Christ is the highway of holiness; that He is a glorious way; a way whereby God can be just, and yet the justifier of all those who believe in Jesus; a way in which sin is taken away with all its damning consequences, the law with its curse removed, justice satisfied, and hell and destruction everlastingly defeated. When the believer is led to see and feel these things, how he delights in Jesus! Jesus becomes precious and “altogether lovely” to his never-dying soul. This is seeing Jesus my friends. “But we see Jesus.”