How to See Jesus From a Different Perspective
Jesus Christ has been with us in Spirit for over 2000 years. In that time, the world repeatedly lifted Him up and pulled Him down. Yet, despite the world's acceptance and rejection of Him, Jesus remains faithful to those who receive Him as Lord and Savior.
I am one of His followers; however, moving from a lukewarm Christian to an on-fire believer, the Holy Spirit lovingly said, "You need to see Jesus from a different perspective." That is what this article will address.
The Empty Cross, Kerrville, Texas
If you read my testimony, specifically the section "The Jolt" at The Cross, Kerrville, Texas, you'll understand why this place is so special to me. Like the Old Testament Pharisee, Nicodemus, Jesus accepted me--confused, broken, and hurting--ready for my rebirth. Sister Colleen Keith said, "The Jolt" was my baptism of the Holy Spirit. I can't honestly say for sure, but I can say with certainty that my life changed for the better because of it.
"You Need to See Jesus From a Different Perspective."
Stratus clouds, looking like stretched-out cotton balls, made a perfect backdrop for The Cross. I looked up and remembered what Jesus did for you and me.
But I felt an emptiness as I looked at the cross. The physical cross is empty inside, but my emptiness felt like a missing puzzle piece. That's when the Holy Spirit took me by the hand and led me to the side of The Cross.
The Incomplete Views
"Look up; what do you see?" came the voice within me. So I looked up and captured the image of the Cross from an "incomplete" (side view) perspective. It's the one you see in the image above on the left.
Feeling confident I understood the "correct" perspective, I hastily rounded the sidewalk, lifted my camera, and snapped the picture of the Cross in all its glory. There, I thought, I'm seeing Jesus from the proper perspective.
At that moment, like a game show contestant, I heard the unmistakable "BONG!" The Holy Spirit smiled and said, "Wrong answer but thank you for playing!" After that, I felt like a moron. My perceived I.Q. dropped 50 points. God humbled me. He was looking for a thought-provoking response; I gave Him a knee-jerk reaction—the cross, whether side view or front view, are incomplete views.
Rockstar or Rock Stars
Like a schoolboy sent to timeout, I sulked over and sat down next to a pile of rocks. Again, I felt God's rebuke. But we should never forget what God says:
"My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline, and do not resent His rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those He loves, as a father the son he delights in." Proverbs 3:11-12
My bruised ego healed, and the Holy Spirit returned with renewed enthusiasm saying, "Look again at the cross! The cross is NOT the Rockstar. Jesus is the Rockstar."
I looked again at the magnificent cross and realized that the empty space inside the cross was missing Jesus! It was MY mistake in perception, not the cross's creator. The symbol had become the rockstar, the focus of attention rather than Jesus. Jesus said,
"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." John 14:6
Jesus reminded me the empty space inside the cross wasn't a portal to heaven; He was. So you don't eat a donut because of the hole. Right? Sorry, don't go for a donut unless you follow it with a seven-mile walk to Emmaus (or a town near you). Jesus will keep you company.
"Look at the Rock Stars"
Still thinking about Jesus as the Rockstar within the empty cross, the Holy Spirit interrupted my focus. "Look at the rock stars," the voice boomed inside my head.
I looked down at the multitude of rocks inscribed with individual messages and prayers offered to the Rockstar, Jesus. Some writings were vivid and recent, while others were washing away, disappearing into the sunset.
Like Twitter Tweets or Instagram Feeds, prayers written on rocks are here only for a short time. And then they are gone. So first, it was depressing, and then the Holy Spirit came to the rescue again.
"The Father hears every prayer. These prayers are captured in His heart forever. They are shining stars illuminating the darkness. They are the Rock Stars of Jesus."
A gentle breeze blew across my forehead. I felt cool in the warm sun but warm from the fire of the Holy Spirit within. I thought about generations of believers who sang joyful praises to the Lord, but many today feel stifled in their worship.
But Jesus told those who tried to suppress His disciples,
"I tell you," He replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out." Luke 19:40
At that moment, I understood how to see Jesus from a different perspective. I didn't need to look for Jesus in the space within a 77'7" cross, but
through innumerable prayers inscribed on rocks,
songs of praise from brothers and sisters in the Church,
agreeable conversations with like-minded believers over coffee,
And disagreements with lukewarm Christians and unbelievers over who Jesus is and how to see Him from a different perspective.
Finally, the Holy Spirit reminded me of something I have rebelled against for years. "You cannot love God without loving people."
I always understood how to love specific people, but loving people collectively was neither necessary nor possible from my perspective. And that is what Jesus wants us to correct; it's not about our perspective but His perspective.
And His perspective is clear. When asked by one of the Pharisees the question,
"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied; "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" Matthew 22:36-39
It is through seeing Jesus (and others) through this perspective of love that we launch the "You are Irreplaceable" Suicide Prevention Series for 2022-2023.
Finally, a reminder to you, yes YOU:
YOU ARE IRREPLACEABLE! Thanks for reading this and sharing in the journey. May God bless you and yours abundantly. In Jesus' mighty name. Amen!