Job 19:25-27 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.
This old hymn takes on such a poignant meaning when you think of the lyrics in light of the fact that Fanny Crosby was blind almost from birth. To think that the first thing she saw when her sightless eyes were healed at death was the face of her Redeemer is a wonderful and moving thought.
She “longed to see [her] Saviour first of all”! I think God answered that desire, don’t you? From stories of other Christian’s deathbed experiences I think it’s quite likely that the Lord would show her His hands and face as the first wonderful thing she ever saw. It’s hard to imagine for those of us who have always had our sight, or for those who had sight at one time, what it would be like to have our very first sight to be the face of Jesus Christ.
Acts 7:55-56 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.
How do you suppose she knew about the “luster of His brightly beaming eye” when she had never seen such a thing as a brightly beaming eye? She never knew what “spotless white” was either. Her imagery is touching.
Fanny said she would know Him by the prints of the nails in His hands. It has been said that the only man-made things in heaven are the prints of the nails in the hands of Jesus Christ and His pierced side. This is based on John 20:27 - Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. This was His resurrection body, so it’s assumed that He still bears the marks of His death, which is fitting considering how much He accomplished in that!
How do you think you will feel to meet your Saviour face to face and to actually see the print of the nails in His hand? What will that mean to you? What does it mean to you now? Does that thought give you a desire to live more “with eternities values in view”, as the old chorus says? It is something I need to think about. I think we would do well to praise Him more now for His mercy, love and grace!
Psalms 106:1-2 Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Who can utter the mighty acts of the LORD? who can shew forth all his praise?