Tuesday, May 18, 2010

illusive, elusive, and allusive

The Word for today:
Ezekiel 1

I'd never had a vision of God.  But all that changed a few years ago when God revealed himself to me in a spectacular way.

Hah!  I'll bet you're thinking I've lost it.

You may be right, I may be crazy, but...you too can have a vision of God, just like I had.  It's right there in Ezekiel chapter one:
In the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the exiles by the Chebar canal, the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. (Ezekiel 1:1)

That's the first sentence of chapter one.  The chapter's last sentence confirms what he has seen:
Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. (Ezekiel 1:28)

I once sat down and read Ezekiel chapter one--slowly and out loud--ten times in a row.  The vision is illusive, elusive, and allusive.  So hang on...

The shifting, illusive, uncontainable vision of God in Ezekiel chapter 1 speaks of the limitlessness of God, and the impossibility of pinning Him down.
When tomorrow you perceive a Jesus you'd never seen before, it's not a different Jesus. Though he is "new" to your perception, the absolute Jesus--the Son the Father knows--has ever been the same.  Throughout eternity, we will perceive the unchanging Jesus as ever "new."

The Bible you hold in your hand is like a radio receiver, capable of hearing the spiritual dimension.
In the physical realm, we cannot hear some frequencies that are known to exist.  The spiritual realm is the same.  Elisha could perceive spiritual "frequencies" that eluded his servant, Gehazi (1).  Aaron was given a blood-tipped ear (2) which, it is inferred, opened his understanding.  Developing a blood-tipped ear--increasingly relating all scripture and all reality to the cross of Jesus Christ--will attune you to spiritual frequencies that the natural ear cannot receive. 

Ezekiel alludes to the complex, multi-faceted Christ--due to appear in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John:
In the fire was what looked like four living creatures. In appearance their form was that of a man. (1:5)
Their faces looked like this: Each of the four had the face of a man, and on the right side each had the face of a lion, and on the left the face of an ox; each also had the face of an eagle. (1:10)

Q.  Is there anything Biblical which comes in a package of four--yet presents the likeness of a single man, who at one and the same time is...
a King;
and a servant;
just a man;
and yet at the pinnacle; seeing all from the summit, yet seeing no peer; a picture of power and grace?

A.  Yes. The Gospels!—
Matthew-- represented in Ezekiel by the lion, symbol of kingship;
Mark--  represented in Ezekiel by the ox, symbol of the Servant;
Luke--  represented in Ezekiel by the face of a man, symbol of Jesus the Son of Man;
John--  represented in Ezekiel by the eagle, symbol of Jesus the Son of God.

Ezekiel's vision contains a perfect summary of  the four-fold literary wholeness known as the gospels--and a perfect blending of seemingly contradictory attributes of Jesus.

(1) 2 Kings 6:15-17; (2) Leviticus 8:23

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