You can’t unsee this.
Then Jesus said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
50 And he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. 51 While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple blessing God. – Luke 24:44-53
There are some things you just can’t unsee. Most of the time that refers to things you wish you could unsee. Sometimes it’s a bit more light-hearted. Did you know there’s a bear hidden in the Toblerone logo? Or that there’s an arrow in the FedEx logo? Or that the word bed looks kinda like a bed? (Thanks, Google for those examples. Maybe we won’t be besieged today with other less-welcome images!)
There are other great, good, and god-glorifying things you may have seen that should not be unseen. An answered prayer. A word of grace at a moment of shame. A kindness in a time of helplessness. A friend’s smile in a moment of mourning.
All these good things pale in comparison to seeing Jesus die, be buried, and risen, living and ascending into heaven. That’s what the Apostles had seen. They couldn’t unsee his horrible suffering and death. They couldn’t unsee his mother at the foot of the cross. They couldn’t unsee the fear in each others’ eyes as they hid behind locked doors on that first Easter evening.
But all that was put into a dramatically redemptive context when they saw his hands and feet. When they saw his body, heard his voice, and watched him eat in their very sight those things – evil as they had been – became redemptive. They realized that Jesus had to suffer in order to redeem us. He had to because of our sin. He had to because of God’s love. He had to because of his love for the Father and for us. He had to because it was written that these things would happen. They were literally witness of those things (v. 48).
We see these things by faith. We weren’t there 2000 years ago when these things happened. But we have the witness of the Scriptures. We read Isaiah’s prophecies (Isaiah 53). Moses records God’s promise of a seed of the woman who would crust the head of the serpent (Genesis 3:15). Jeremiah speaks of a New Covenant (Jeremiah 29). Then Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John record Jesus’ teaching, suffering, death, resurrection, ascension, and promised return. The remainder of the New Testament helps us understand what it means to live out the reality of our redemption.
So when we see that kind smile, act of kindness, answered prayer, the faithful witness from God’s word, let that be a reminder to see again what is behind it all. God loves you. He sent his Son. He died for you. He rose in victory over sin, death, and the devil. That’s something none of us need to unsee!