David Blaine is an illusionist and stunt performer who has been in the public eye for a couple of decades. His most recent feat was to float upward to almost 25,000 feet while attached to over 50 large balloons in the Great Basin Desert in northern Arizona. As he was ascending, he spoke of having the most unbelievable view in the world . . . it doesn’t even look like I’m on earth.
While I suppose you could debate whether or not he was technically on earth, there’s no doubt as to what he was looking at when he spoke these words. He was looking at the same landscape he’d studied extensively in his preparation for the event! He was looking at the earth and he knew that, but we understand the intent of his words—he was seeing the earth from a different perspective—while floating through the air about 5,100 feet above the ground. Of course, things looked different. He had an exalted view.
I imagine this was something of the way Thomas felt when he saw Jesus after His resurrection. You remember that Thomas wasn’t there the Sunday evening that Jesus appeared before His disciples on the day of His resurrection. When they later shared with him what had happened, he didn’t believe them. He told them, Unless I see the nail marks in His hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe (20:27).
It’s not difficult to track Thomas’ thinking. The disciples had been on a roller coaster ride with Jesus. They’d seen and experienced things they never dreamed possible. They had gone from fishermen, tax collectors, and other common occupations to being disciples of Jesus—the most extraordinary person who ever lived.
Then it all came crashing down.
Thomas was devastated. And now the absolute last thing he wanted to do was to enter into some flight of fantasy that suggested everything was okay, that Jesus was somehow alive. Thomas had seen Him die. The disciples’ world was shattered. If they wanted to pick up the pieces and try to piece them back together good for them, but Thomas wanted no part of it. He was done.
Then Jesus appeared to him.
And suddenly, this man who had been around Jesus for the past three-and-a-half years saw Him in a way he’d never seen Him before. He was Lord and God. Well, that’s not quite what he said, is it? He actual words were, My Lord and my God. That’s what happens when you see things from an exalted perspective.
It’s easy to look at life with eyes weary from disappointment, pain, heartache—all of the things that Thomas was experiencing. And while the specifics of the headlines might change from day to day, we still get a large serving of bad news delivered to us every day. But as Thomas learned, appearance is not necessarily reality. What we need to do is to take a deep breath and allow God to open our eyes and give us an exalted view.
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people, and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength He exerted when He raised Jesus from the dead and seated Him at the right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. (Ephesians 1:18-21)