I. Preface

Michael Hardt

Fixing the eye on Christ glorified

Most Bible readers will have heard a phrase like "The look at the glorified Christ gives strength". Or perhaps "We should occupy ourselves more with Christ in glory". The first reaction for some might be: Isn't that a topic for people who spend most of their lives in an armchair? A topic without practical relevance?

The answer is: quite the opposite! It is about strength in everyday life, in crises, in challenges. The best example is Stephen. He is dragged out of the city to be stoned. But he remains calm, kneels down and prays for his enemies. Where did he get the strength for this? To put it in his own words, "Lo, I behold the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God" (Acts 7:56). The look at the glorified Christ gave Stephen the strength to remain faithful, to become the first Christian martyr - and to remain so Christ-like in the process.

This raises the question, how is it possible for Christians today to have "Stephen’s gaze"? For us, heaven will not open literally, as with Stephen. And yet, it is essential to look into heaven. There is so much to be discovered there! But how does this work in practice? How can you derive this strength from looking into heaven?

At first sight it is actually not quite so easy to recognize this. But the more you are occupied with the subject, the more you not only understand how it works, but you also realise that it works: The look into heaven brings a very special joy, and an increasing understanding of the Christian position (which is directly related to the "Man in glory"), and of the riches we possess as Christians.

This little book makes no claim to completeness. There are many other passages that speak of the glorified Christ. But it wants to open the view, it wants to whet the appetite, it wants to motivate (writer and reader) to try it out: to dare to look up and, in this way, to embark on a journey of discovery that gives joy and spiritual strength.

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