Have you talked with someone and had to imagine their face? Have you ever been in a long distance relationship and never actually met them in person? Have you ever had a pen-pal and with great excitement you wait til you get a picture of them?
We were made to do two things (well many more, like eat); 1) to behold glorious things (which is why we go to geological attractions like the Grand Canyon and the Niagra Falls), and 2) to behold the glory in each other. We each have a shadow of the glory of Jesus in our faces. We were made after his image, his likeness, bone of his bone. And some awesome day, some glorious day, we will behold the face of Christ, our God in the flesh. Don’t we all yearn for that day?
Some have already supposedly seen him. The apostles for one, but also some in our century have also. People who have had near death experiences often describe going into a dream like state where they enter heaven, talk with Jesus, see Gabriel the angel, etc. Many Muslims who have come to Christ have done so by way of talking with Christ himself in their dreams (which is obviously not a near death experience, and an important distinction).
Well what I’m about to say I don’t put a ton of stock in, but find it very interesting, and truthful in a very big way. Two young people, one a boy at age 3, and a girl who was around 7-8 years old, both almost died, and both witnessed seeing Jesus Christ.
The parents of the boy, Colton Burpo, were obsessed with finding images and portraits that Colton might find in the likeness of Christ. But again and again, Colton would say no. Until they come across a picture that the girl painted after she came back, of Jesus. When Colton saw this painting, he said, “That is it! That’s Jesus!” So we have the testimony of two very young children who have seen Jesus, and agree together as to what He looks like. You want to see a picture of what Jesus may look like? Here it is:
Surprise! He’s not white, or has blue eyes!
Todd Burpo, his father, wrote a book, last year, about this whole experience, of his sons getting sick, seeing him through, and takes us on a journey through years of Colton recounting and telling the story of what he saw in his “three minutes” of heaven.
Matthew Patton of Parchment and Pen wrote a good critical review of this book. In which he asks the question, “Are they lying?” After all, this sort of stuff could get one very rich quick in the world of Christendom. This is a good review of the book if you are interested.
And because I think everything that is worth believing in, is worth questioning, (I’m not saying I whole-heartedly believe this story) here is a good clip by David Platt on why we shouldn’t believe this story of “ascending to heaven and descending again to earth”, which as Platt will explain, is only attainable and was only attained by Jesus Christ. The other “experiences” of heaven, were through visions, not by one who died and came back again. I don’t we think we should declare this story true too quickly. Instead, let this be a time when we search the scriptures to see what it says on this sort of matter.