Loving the Unseen (1 Peter 1:8-9)

1 Peter 1:8-9 (ESV)


8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.


            The above verses are a beautiful picture of Christianity. They tell the story of the hearts of believers from the first century to today.


            We have not seen Jesus, not with our eyes. Sadly for us, the Lord Jesus walked the earth so many years ago. There was no way for him to do the things that his Father called him to do and to be physically here for all generations to behold. So, an aspect of our faith is to serve, to trust, to believe in, and to love one whom we have not seen with our physical eyes.


            Remember that love is the right word for how we as Christians respond to Jesus. We love him. Now, you may or may not feel a deep and abiding emotion at all times. That is not the point. Love is emotional, for sure, but it is bigger. Love is commitment. Though we have never seen the physical body of Jesus, we are fully committed to him. Our trust is in him. Our lives are reshaped around his will. And, yes, our hearts rejoice in his goodness and his loving kindness.


            Though we do not now see him, we rejoice in him. Why? Jesus has accomplished our forgiveness. Jesus is the only way we can be made clean before God and welcomed into his family. Jesus suffered the great punishment that we have earned for our sin in order to accomplish this wonderful grace on our behalf. And, Jesus lives though he died, meaning that we have the hope of seeing him, thanking him, and serving him. We will worship him now and we will worship him in the future.


            What comes of all this loving one we have never seen and rejoicing over one we still do not see? Trusting Jesus in this way obtains an outcome that all Christians both have and are looking forward to, the salvation of our souls. Jesus saves us. When we trust him, we are saved. We are not saved by doing things. We are not saved if we act good enough. No, Jesus saves the one who, though he has not seen Jesus, he believes in Jesus. Jesus has saved the one who, though she does not now see Jesus, she has trusted in him and rejoices in is mercy.


            Christians, it is beautiful to think that one day we will actually look upon Jesus. We will meet our Lord. The one who died and took on his own shoulders the hell that we deserved will not always be someone to hope to meet. We will know Jesus. We will talk with Jesus. We will worship Jesus. Though we are not in his physical presence today, he will return to earth, bodily, transform our sin-ravaged bodies, and set up an eternal kingdom with us as his worshipful subjects.