May 2019

His Face

The knowledge of seeing the Saviour’s face is a great prospect that we as believers have. What a wonderful experience we will undergo coming face to face with our Creator and Saviour! Matthew reminds us of three such occasions where “His face” has been mentioned. In chapter 17:2 Matthew tells us about the Shining Face of the Saviour: “and his face did shine as the sun”, in chapter 26:39 we are reminded of a Submissive Face as in the garden of Gethsemane “He…fell on His face”, and in Matthew 26:67 we have before us a Face that had been Slighted or Insulted - “Then did they spit in His face”.

The Shining Face

When we come into chapter 17 we are told that Jesus took three of His disciples, Peter, James and John into a high mountain. Luke, in chapter 9:28, provides us with some more information, telling us that they “went up into a mountain to pray”. Once there, we read, the Lord Jesus “was transfigured before them”. The Greek word used by Matthew is the word ‘metamorphosis’ which means to change into another form. What the disciples saw up in the mountain was a change in the countenance of the Lord Jesus, and Matthew tells us that “His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was white as the light”. During His time on the earth the Eternal Glory of the Lord Jesus was veiled; the disciples had only seen Him in His incarnation as a human. They had seen glimpses of His divine attributes in His miracles and in His power and command over the elements of the earth, but here they are given the special privilege of seeing the divine face of the Saviour and a view of how it will be in a future day when He comes in all His Glory and Majesty.

Thinking of that Lovely Face that showed His Majesty and Glory, my mind is drawn to the Song of Solomon, where a delightful display of the love between Jesus and His bride is given. In chapter 5:15 the bride compares the countenance of the Bridegroom to the majestic Cedars of Lebanon, trees which were known for their grandeur, beauty, strength, and for their incorruptible nature. Thus, when Solomon was building that magnificent temple, cedars were used, not sparingly, but abundantly. As the countenance of Christ is said to be as excellent as cedars, the three disciples had the privilege of seeing a Face that is not only Beautiful and Majestic in appearance, but a Face that showed the everlasting nature of His glory.

Having seen the Shining Face of Jesus, John writes about His glory. In John 1:14 he says, “and we beheld his glory, the glory as the only begotten of the Father”. Peter would write about His Majesty; and in 2 Peter 1:16 he states, “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty”, for he further goes on to say, “we were with Him in the holy mount” (2 Peter 1:18). What an enriching experience these disciples had, something that would have stayed with them for the rest of their earthly sojourn.