The Face of Jesus

June 24, 2022
George T. Ferrier

The believer continually has the blessed opportunity to gaze upon Christ in God’s Word, the glories of our Lord progressively transforming us into His likeness (2 Cor. 3:18). Let us look into the face of our Lord Jesus from a few selected passages. 

He is the Son of God 

For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 4:6, NKJV

Manifesting God’s glory, Christ testified that He is the eternal Son of God (Luke 22:70; John 3:18; 20:31). Though the full outshining of His eternal glory was veiled during His first advent, those with the eye of faith recognized Him by His revealed life: His words; actions; grace; and embodiment of truth. The apostle John testified that the apostles heard Him, gazed upon Him, meditated on Him, and touched Him (1 John 1:1-3). They were eyewitnesses that He was God manifested in the flesh. Christ declared the Father’s Name, by perfectly displaying His character and attributes (John 17:6). When Phillip asked the Lord to show them the Father, He replied: “he who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). On another occasion the Lord proclaimed: “I and My Father are one” (John 10:30) In His person, He is eternally equal to His Father in every respect (Col. 1:15; Heb. 1:3). 

The devil has blinded people to the gospel that testifies about the glory of Christ, the image of God (2 Cor. 4:4). As we are increasingly conformed to Christ’s image, the believer has an opportunity to reveal the indwelling Christ to them (2 Cor. 3:18; 4:6). To show that He alone is the way to heaven because He is God (John 14:6). 

He was God’s Perfect Servant 

He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed,
saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”

Matthew 26:39, NKJV

The Lord Jesus was God’s chosen servant (Isa. 42:1). Though remaining the eternal God in His person, at His incarnation He temporarily took the position of a bondservant (Phil. 2:7). His acquired humanity did not diminish His deity though His divine attributes were restricted to within the parameters of His heavenly Father’s will. Whether as a child growing up in Nazareth, or as an adult working in Joseph’s carpenter’s shop, He fully pleased His heavenly Father with His perfect obedience (Matt. 3:17). Then throughout His public ministry, He obediently served His heavenly Father, speaking the words that the Father gave Him (John 17:8). His impeccable obedience led Him to the cross to die for the sins of the world as prophesied in the Old Testament (Heb. 10:7). 

In the garden of Gethsemane fully knowing by His divine omniscience what was in store for Him, He prayed for strength in His never-ending commitment to do His Father’s will. Nothing would stop Him from perfectly finishing His life of service (Matt. 16:23; Luke 9:51). Though He could have called for legions of angels (Matt. 26:53) or even by His own omnipotent power saved Himself, He chose to patiently endure the cross, remaining under its suffering until the penalty for every sin was paid. He despised the shame counting it as a little thing compared to the magnificence of what He was accomplishing in obedience to His Father’s will (Heb. 12:2). Then on the cross after the work was completed, He victoriously shouted “finished” before dismissing His own spirit. 

Endeavoring to follow Christ’s example in obedient life and service, the believer has the privilege to bring pleasure to the heart of God. 

He is the Son of Man 

He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth
went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last.

Revelation 1:16-17, NKJV

Sixty years after witnessing the Lord ascend to heaven, God gave John a vision of the glorified, exalted Son of Man. Christ’s glorious face was compared to the sun shining at maximum strength. This reminds us of Saul who on the Damascus Road saw a light from heaven. Brighter than the noon day sun, the radiance of Christ’s glory blinded him (Acts 26:13). The title Son of Man does not only speak of His acquired humanity but also testifies to His eternal deity (Dan. 7:13; Matt. 24:30; 26:64). The Son of Man will return someday to reign (Ps. 2:8); He is the rightful heir to the throne of David whose kingdom will extend over the entire earth (Dan. 2:34-35, 44-45). 

Yet He is also our merciful and faithful High Priest (Heb. 2:17). Apart from sin, He sympathizes with the weaknesses of humanity (Heb. 4:15). He empowers us to have victory over sin but when we do sin He is our Advocate with the Father (1 John 2:1). When the Lord was on earth John would lean in close to Him (John 13:25). With Peter and James, he was part of the Lord’s inner circle. Now the Lord tenderly put his right hand upon the terrified, prostrated John telling him to not be afraid. He was also welcome in the presence of the now glorified Son of Man (Rev. 1:17). 

Today, the believer can come confidently to the throne of grace (Heb 4:16). We stand in grace and have constant access to the Father through our great High Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:1-2; Heb. 10:22). 

He is the Savior 

For if you return to the Lord, your brethren and your children will be treated with compassion by those who lead them captive, so that they may come back to this land; for the Lord your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn His face from you if you return to Him.” 

2 Chronicles 30:9, NKJV

The same Lord who would have been delighted in King Hezekiah’s time, to see each inhabitant of Judah and Israel return in repentance, today responds favorably to wayward, backslidden Christians who humble themselves and return to Him. 

The Lord had warned Peter that he would deny Him three times but in the same conversation He had also prophetically encouraged that he would later return to Him and strengthen his brethren (Luke 22:31-34). When a fearful Peter did indeed later deny the Lord, Christ turned to look into his eyes. Seeing the Lord’s gaze, a heartbroken, repentant Peter left weeping bitterly (Luke 22:54-62). The Lord saw those tears and after His resurrection met privately with Peter to restore Him (Luke 24:34). No doubt the tears Peter shed on this occasion were tears of joy over restored fellowship. Soon after that the Lord restored him to service so that he could strengthen his brethren for the rest of his life (John 21:15-19; 1 & 2 Pet.; Acts 1-5; 10-12; 15). 

The Savior of the believing sinner is also the Savior of the sinning believer. The One who is rich in mercy delights to restore any believer who humbly returns to Him (Jas. 4:10). Beloved, have you thought about that day when you will see Him face to face? Are you looking forward to it with great anticipation (1 John 3:1-3)?