My scripture study this week took an unexpected turn. While attempting to decide which scripture study skill I would use, the thought came to me that I should ask the Lord. I said a little prayer and felt prompted to use the visualizing skill. The purpose of visualizing is to “bring the scriptures to life.” The instructions are: (1) Look for the setting, such as the time, place, or people present; (2) Look for the details in the scriptural text; (3) Ask questions to help fill in your mental picture.
This week we studied the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Matthew 27-28; Mark 15-16; Luke 23-24; John 15-21). As I started the reading assignment, I began to think about the followers of Jesus Christ. Some of them watched as Jesus Christ was arrested and tried. Some saw Him hanging from the cross. Some helped to prepare His body for burial. What were they feeling? How were they handling the death of Jesus Christ? As I considered how they felt, I tried to picture their grief.
All of a sudden my mind went to my dear family and friends who are mourning the death of a fine young man named Trevor. I remembered the faces of his father, mother, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and many friends. Deep grief was etched into their faces. With this memory I was able to see how the followers of Christ felt. I could see their tears and their inability to function normally. I could see that some of them were almost prostrate with grief. Because of my recent personal experience with grief, the people in the time of Christ became very real in my mind. I knew they were grieving the death of a loved one. I knew the look of grief. It was no stranger to me.
I continued my study and came to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I visualized the followers of Christ gathered together in a room with the doors shut tightly in fear of the Jews. Then Jesus Christ suddenly appeared in the room. Again my thoughts went to Trevor’s family and friends. How would they react if Trevor walked through the door and back into their lives? I knew immediately that there would be a joyous celebration as parents and siblings ran to embrace him, kiss him, and inquire of his wellbeing. Then I could see them calling and texting other family members and friends to share the good news. With the exception of the cell phones, I suspect that a similar experience took place among the followers of Christ.
I am very grateful for the prompting to ask God which scripture study skill I should use. By visualizing the events surrounding Christ’s death and resurrection and then personalizing them, I experienced a new depth of sorrow for Christ’s suffering and a more comprehensive gratitude for His love and sacrifice. I was daily in tears as I studied the assigned chapters. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ has never meant so much to me as it does now. I look forward to commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ with the rest of the Christian world. I know that this Easter season will be much different for me than any previous Easters in my life. I know that Jesus Christ lives. I know that He is the Son of God and has made it possible for all of us to return to the presence of God.