Straight In His Face

April 17, 2012

Then there came-at first from very off-sounds of wailing and then, from every direction, a rustling and a pattering and a sound of wings.  It came nearer and nearer.  Soon one could distinguish the scamper of little feet from the padding of big paws, and the clack-clack of light little hoofs from the thunder of great ones.  And then one could see thousands of pairs of eyes gleaming.  And at last, out of the shadow of the trees, racing up the hill for dear life, by thousands and by millions, came all kinds of creatures — Talking Beasts, Dwarfs, Satyrs, Fauns, Giants, Calormenes, men from Archenland, Monopods, and strange unearthly things from the remote islands or the unknown Western lands.  And all these ran up to the doorway where Aslan stood.

 The creatures came rushing on, their eyes brighter and brighter as they drew nearer and nearer to the standing Stars.  But as they came right up to Aslan one or other of two things happened to each of them.  They all looked straight in his face, I don’t think they had any choice about that.  And when some looked, the expression of their faces changed terribly – it was fear and hatred. . . .and all the creatures who looked at Aslan in that way swerved to their right, his left, and disappeared into his huge black shadow, which (as you have heard) streamed away to the left of the doorway.  The children never saw them again.  I don’t know what became of them.  But the others looked in the face of Aslan and loved him, though some of them were very frightened at the same time.  And all these came in at the door, in on Aslan’s right (C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle).

No matter what you think of him now, one day you will stand before Jesus. And on that day you will not see him as a little baby or as a dying man on a cross. He will stand before you as the glorious and exalted Son of Man. You will see the nail marks in his hands, but instead of a crown of thorns, a crown of glory will rest upon his brow. He will be more dazzling than you imagined, his splendor more radiant than you thought possible.

There will be no mistaking who he is at that moment—the Lord, the Messiah, the image of the invisible God, the Word made flesh. No one will wonder if there might be other gods besides him.  No one will speculate about the plausibility of this or that historical Jesus. No one will dare to think that some clandestine council or some rogue disciple concocted Jesus the Christ. There will be no atheists at that moment. No skeptics on that day. Every knee will bow.  Every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.  It will be the immediate and unavoidable conclusion for everyone who sees him.

And as you stand before this Christ you will do so alone. You will not be able hide in a crowd. You will not have your family or church or well-wishers to stand in the gap. Just you. Your name will be called and you will rise to stand before him.

At that moment what your parents thought of you will be inconsequential.  Whether you were popular or rich or intelligent will make no difference. Your diplomas will be of no use to you. Your talents and earthly treasure will not matter. When you see Christ as he is, for who he is, you will not be neutral. Your response will not be tepid. No one will equivocate or find some middle ground. You will either thrill to realize that this is the One you have loved and have longed to look upon, or you will hate to look on One so lovely when you’d rather be looking at yourself.

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