In our life we look at different circumstances, situations from our own perspective. Sometimes our views are bogged down, we are convinced of something, and our point of view is only one-way. But often we need a new perspective, something that helps us see things in a different light.
A few days ago we celebrated Easter, the resurrection of Jesus. This event was such a change of perspective. On that day darkness became light, defeat became victory, and death became life. After his resurrection, Jesus appeared and met several people. The encounter with the risen One revealed God’s perspective on what was happening to them.
There were Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of James, who stood crying by the empty tomb. They were full of sadness and fear. They thought Jesus was dead until they met him in a gardener.
We also read about the two disciples, Cleopas and his friend, who were on their way home from Jerusalem to Emmaus when they met Jesus in their disappointment and hopelessness. It was only when he broke bread with them that they recognized him.
In the same way he appeared to his 11 disciples, who left the tomb horrified and terrified (Mark 16.8). He showed himself to them in the midst of their desperation.
Thomas, one of the disciples, was in a perspective of doubt and disbelief. It was only when he laid his hands on Jesus’ wounds that he could believe.
Peter also had an encounter with Jesus. He had slandered Jesus three times and felt himself to be a failure. Despite his weakness, Jesus approached him and asked him the same question three times: “Simon Peter, do you love me?”
Saul also experienced a change of perspective on the way to Damascus. He was a bitter enemy and persecutor of the Christians, until suddenly a light shone around him and he heard the voice of Jesus, whom he was persecuting. It was a life changing event in his life. He became Paul, who with great zeal, preached the good news among the people and became a believer of Christians.
An encounter with Jesus transforms and gives a new perspective. Not only then, also today, Jesus wants to meet you and me, in our everyday life, in our circumstances and life situations. Jesus is risen, he lives. He loved us first and he always takes the first step towards us humans. He wants to be close to us, to meet us. He proves his love when he died on the cross for our sin. Through his sacrifice we are reconciled to God, and through his resurrection we have eternal life. God gives a new perspective. Sadness and disappointment become joy, where despair reigns hope arises. Doubt and unbelief have to fade away, new faith arises. In failure and weakness God brings new strength, hatred is conquered by love.
We can ask ourselves the following questions:
- Where or in which area of my life do I experience disappointment or sadness, where do I need new joy?
- Where I feel desperation, where do I need new hope?
- Where am I stuck in doubt or unbelief and need new faith?
- Where do I feel weak and in failure and need new strength?
- Where do I need love that conquers all hatred?
- Where did something in me die and need to be brought back to life?
- Where do I see the end and need a new beginning?
- No matter what it is and what we need, that’s exactly where Jesus wants to meet us and give us a new perspective, God’s perspective.
This new perspective, this love of God in our hearts turns night into day, brings light into every darkness, makes a new beginning out of every hopeless situation. An encounter with Jesus changes our hearts. By believing in him we become children of God and his spirit lives and works in us. Thereby we become bearers of his love and as children of light we can pass on his love and his light to our fellow human beings. We can tell about Jesus, pray for people, live charity so that many more people can meet Jesus.
Quotation: “But when Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he first appeared to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven evil spirits” (Mark 16: 9); Another biblical passage in John 20: 11-18
Quote: “And they came to him and took hold of his feet and fell down before him.” (Matthew 28: 1-10)
Quote: “As they talked and discussed one another, Jesus approached himself and went with them.” (Luke 24: 13-35)
Quote: “The disciples were glad that they saw the Lord.” (John 20: 19-23)
Quote: “Because you have seen me, Thomas, that is why you believe.” (John 20: 24-29)
Quote: “When it was already morning, Jesus stood on the bank.” (John 21)
Quotation: “At last of all he was also seen by me as an untimely birth” (1 Corinthians 15: 1-8); Another biblical passage in Acts 9: 1-19