I had not been to church for many years, but I had began to feel a strong longing to know Jesus better, reading everything I could over the past few months, and praying constantly. I had no idea what I was about to experience when I was invited to a new church:
We listened as the minister preached his sermon. Somewhere in the middle of his sermon, he asked the question, “What is the mountain in your life?” He told us to take a few minutes to meditate about it. It had all been quiet in the church before, but now you could hear a pin drop.
I began to meditate along with the rest of the congregation. I reflected on things from my past right up to the present. I thought about things I had not been able to overcome in my life. My biggest “Mountain” was definitely the lack of forgiveness I felt for people who I thought had hurt me or wronged me in some way. I could easily walk out of people’s lives, and hold a grudge for twenty years or for the rest of my life for that matter.
As I thought about these things, I thought about how others had been hurtful towards me in my life. I felt a deep wrenching pain in my heart, even physical pain as though my heart was being squeezed tight in my chest. Still carrying deep pain as I did, seemed to make it impossible to be forgiving. I bowed my head. I knew what the Bible says about forgiveness, and I thought, “Jesus is probably mad at me.”
Still feeling the pain in my heart, a thought suddenly came into my mind. I thought, “Look for the face of Jesus.” I had read that somewhere, but I didn’t think I would literally see him. If I did, I was sure He would come condemning me.
As I was thinking I should look for his face, I raised my eyes, and I couldn’t have been more surprised by what I saw. I saw Jesus! He was actually there. I saw only his face, and shoulders, but He was alive, and moving around. He had dark, shoulder length hair with light streaks of gray, and He was wearing a crown of thorns. I just gazed up at Him, and He was smiling at me with the most loving smile I had ever seen in my life!
The first thing I thought was, “He looks a little different than He does in his pictures, but only slightly different.” I had expected his hair to be longer, and his nose was a little different. There was something about his eyes, and the way he looked at me. It was like pure joy shinned outward from his eyes that He was able to show Himself to me, and to allow me to feel the love that He had for me. I also felt that He received joy just by being in my presence. I will never forget how joyous He seemed to be with me. I have always felt so ordinary. I live a very ordinary life. Yet, I just felt that I was so special in his eyes.
I felt no condemnation from Him at all as my gaze settled on His smile, and that greatly surprised me. Next, I felt Him sending me love that was full of sympathy and compassion. It was as if I could actually feel his feelings, and I began to experience an overwhelming kind of love that I was sure human beings aren’t capable of.
I was in awe that He could love me that much. It was blissful, and I was totally absorbed by that love, to the point where I felt my heart could burst. I have never felt anything like it, and I’m sure that I never will as long as I’m on the earth.
There aren’t adequate words in the English language to describe the magnificence of Him, but He was wonderful, and I just continued to gaze up at Him, fearful if I took my eyes off of Him He may vanish.
He continued to smile at me like I was the only person in that room, like I was the only person on earth who mattered to Him, though I’m sure He must look at each one of us that way. Throughout the whole vision, He never once took his eyes off of me or stopped smiling at me.
Next, I saw Him sending beams of transparent, white light towards my heart. I felt the light penetrating my being. The light felt like nothing, other than pure love and compassion. Jesus was very kind and loving towards me, not condemning at all. I only sensed a strong out pouring of love from Him. He seemed perfect in his goodness and kindness. The best word I can think of to describe the goodness I sensed in Him is holy.
Next He began to communicate to me, but no words were used. He communicated by sending me feelings. It was like telepathy, but it wasn’t just an exchange of information. I understood as if He was speaking in sentences like we use, but there were feelings in the knowledge. I could understand his words as well as feel his emotions that went along with the words. I understood easily and clearly as it was transferred into my mind.
He said that He already knew about it all, my lack of forgiveness towards others. He also knew about how I had been hurt by other people, and the circumstances in my life that had made me feel that way. He said, “I know everything about you.”
I thought to myself, “Wow! I can’t believe He knows everything about me!” (When I look back on the experience, it seems strange that I referred to Him as He instead of You. I guess it never entered my mind that I could speak back to Him. I only listened to what He told me, eager to absorb all I could from Him. I never made a reply back.) Anyway, this new knowledge surprised me greatly, to find out that He knew everything about my life, and me, but I also felt comforted by it. I had always felt invisible in His eyes. It meant that He had never been far from me like I had always thought. I realized that I had been constantly under his supervision, like when our own children are small, and we never let them out of our eyesight. Before I had thought that He had too many people to watch over to concern Himself with me, and there was even a possibility that He didn’t even know that I existed.
Suddenly, I felt like I could get up and run from the church, and shout to the world, “He can see me! He can see me!” I had never grasped the term omnipresence before, and I still can’t say that I understand how it works, only that I know it to be true. He has the ability to be in all places at once! If He has been with me, my entire life from the beginning, then I feel certain that it goes for everyone else also.
Again, I felt more compassion from Him pouring out to me. He said, “I feel your pain. I grieve with you.” I felt like I could feel what was in his heart, and my sadness made Him sad also. Upon hearing those words, something stirred deep in my heart, and I fought hard to stem the flow of tears that threatened to fall. He was able to feel my feelings, and I was able to feel His, a perfect exchange of understanding between the two of us.
At that moment, He didn’t seem concerned with my sin. He only exuded a deep concern for me and for the pain I had experienced because of others. He was like a loving parent who picked me up when I was hurting, and held me in his loving arms. Just as the Bible says, I felt that His only intention was to comfort me, and wipe away all of my tears. I actually felt like I had been comforted, and held in the arms of Jesus.
After He comforted me, He spoke again. He told me not to worry or concern myself with these things, because He would take care of it for me. I sensed an incredible strength in Him, and I found myself in awe of the power He possessed. I could literally feel Him lift my burdens as if they had rested upon my shoulders, and I felt like He could easily carry them all.
We have all been taught about the meek and humble man, but He exuded super-human strength that was clearly not of this earth, and it was indescribable. I could literally feel his power as it radiated off of Him.
I was still looking at Him. I was still surprised by some of the things that He said. He was still looking at me. He still wore that loving smile on his face that would melt the heart of the worst hardened sinner. He was still sending me love, and it was to over flowing. There was so much love that I felt like my heart couldn’t hold it all, and it may burst if I took in much more. I began to feel like I couldn’t handle it anymore. Maybe in human form we can’t. I don’t know.
I think of the pain, torment, and humiliation He endured at the cross, and how even today, people so disrespect Him by the sins they commit. This type of brutality would have caused many to come away from the experience with anger, hatred, and resentment, but clearly not Jesus.
Here He was revealing himself to me, loving me, and even allowing me to feel what was in his heart. Throughout all of the cruelty and injustice He had suffered at the hands of evil men, He never lost his ability for kindness, or compassion, or his ability to love, and to love fully with his whole heart. Even to this day, I cry and sob for all of the goodness He possesses, and how I feel so eternally grateful for Him.
Seeing all of the goodness and purity in Him, I felt like I may break down into tears and sobs. I started to feel unworthy of his pure holiness. He was a soul at the highest level of perfection. Seeing this makes you aware of even your smallest sins. I felt unworthy of Him, of his purity, and I thought about my own imperfections. During the whole vision, I had been afraid that if I looked away, He would be gone. Now, I purposely looked away. I couldn’t bear the thought of my imperfections in the presence of his Holiness. Again, free will came into play. He understood my feelings. I couldn’t bear to see anymore, and He was gone.
When I looked back, He wasn’t there anymore, but I wasn’t disappointed. I was left with a feeling of total awe! Jesus had been there. I had seen Him. I had felt Him. He had communicated with me.
The thing I was left knowing, above everything else, was that He loved me more than anyone had ever loved me in my life! He wasn’t to be compared with a normal man, because his knowledge goes far beyond anything we can imagine. He understood me completely, like no earthly human being ever could.
A few days later, I thought about how I had sat in church that day knowing I had sinned. Yet, Jesus had blessed me with a wonderful vision. I knew He still loved me, unconditionally, in spite of my flaws. I wondered, how can this be?
For a while after, I wondered why He had not condemned me, but after much soul searching and pouring over the scriptures. I believe Him to be very protective over those that are his. He doesn’t just love us because He is our savior, and we are his responsibility. I realized that would only be a shallow type of love. I now understand that He loves each one of us on a personal level. He loves us deeply and passionately, the same way we love Him.
Later that night, I started to read the Bible:
(John 3:16) For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that who so ever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.
He that believeth on him is not condemned,
but he that believeth not is already condemned
because he has not believed.
I had sought to know Him with my whole heart and soul, and He had not disappointed me. He had restored in my spirit a willingness to forgive, because love cancels out anger, fear, resentment, and any other negative emotion you can imagine.
I remembered that He had worn the crown of thorns in my vision. I now realize that they were meant to be symbolic, a reminder to me of how He loved us all enough to be lifted up, and crucified on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. The crown of thorns is a symbol of his love that He feels for each one of us.
Later, I found this verse in the bible. I had looked for his face, and He had heard me from Heaven.
“If my people, who are called by my name,
shall humble themselves and pray
and seek my face and turn from their wicked
ways, then I will hear from Heaven
and will forgive their sins and will heal their land.”
(2 Chronicles 7:14)
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...in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them... 2 Cor 5:19
Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through
Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Acts 13:38
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