It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove. Mark 1:9-10 (NKJV)
Standing in the Jordan river, I watched the azure dome crack and glory come streaming through. At first I was so blinded I turned away, but a voice bade me look again, and as I did I felt a strange burning sensation, as though a cover or lens had fallen from my eyes. In that same instant I was aware that distance no longer affected the clarity of my vision.
I looked through a corridor in the heavens, that appeared to be lined on either side by planets, stars, and galaxies. Light flowed like a river down the passageway. Light so pure, so complete, that it seemed to have substance and form. It was clear and yet opaque--radiant, shining, rising, falling, expanding, moving like vapor on a winter's morn.
As I looked further along this luminescent pathway through the stars, I saw with wonder, the Source from whence it flowed. Strangely, the farther I gazed, the clearer I saw. There, in brilliant detail, at the end of the corridor (or was it the beginning?) was a city.
Its walls were made of light--luminous as burnished gold in the sun. Its foundations were 12 colors of the rainbow, so rich, so pure, so brilliant, that I wondered whether they might be the source or fountainhead of color. But my eyes were drawn upward, above this city of light and color, and there, blazing in glory beyond description, was a throne.
He who sat upon it shone with the unborrowed magnificence of ten thousand suns. The glory that came from Him was divided into colors as a prism separates light; but unlike a prism's colors, these were not refracted. They began with Him. Colors, as smoke, mingled and blended about the throne. Letters of fire were engraved upon it, blazing the words: HOLINESS, JUSTICE, TRUTH, LOVE, PURITY, ALPHA, OMEGA.
And the river of light, streaming down the corridor, burst into music as the voice of many waters, singing, "Glory, Glory, Glory." And I saw and knew that the river, and the stars, and the universe, and the earth, and all things bright or beautiful had their source in Him! I dropped to my knees and worshiped.
Then, from amongst the light about the throne, I saw the form of a Dove take shape. Its wings were like the city--luminous as burnished gold. Its eyes were flames so pure, so bright, that the path of light dimmed before their brilliance. It circled the throne three times, and then with a rushing of wings and a scattering of light, it flew swiftly towards me. The music of the river struck a note higher as the Dove's wings fanned the air above it.
As it drew closer, another thing happened. Light began shining from the face of the Man before me. Like the glory round the throne, that which shone from Him was not reflected. He was the source. And the light streaming from His eyes was by far more brilliant than the sun. While He stood, gazing upward, the Dove lit in dazzling splendor upon His head.
And a voice was heard, like the sound of many waters. The heavens trembled and the earth shook. The sound seemed to come from everywhere yet nowhere. It echoed and rumbled across creation, and the words spoken were these: "This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased!"
Then suddenly, as though heaven and earth had inhaled ... all was still. In the same instant it was dark. I thought my eyes had failed me, but as I grew accustomed to the darkness, I saw dim shapes of people here and there.
I looked up once again and saw, flickering dimly like a candle in a cavern, the sun. I wondered how it had grown so feeble, and I realized then that it had not been changed except by the glory my eyes had seen.
I turned my gaze earthward, searching for the One I had just baptized. He was kneeling upon the riverbank, where a subdued but holy light still shone about Him.
I looked around at the people gathered about and read the expressions on their faces. Only a few seemed entranced, but all were gazing at Him, though many seemed full of idle curiosity. Others appeared puzzled or looked confused. All were silent--wondering.
But I saw, and now bare record, that this was the Son of God!
Lesson 13 - Conclusion