The Story of Redemption


The Vision of Christ

The scene was one of the greatest confusion. The companions of Saul were stricken with terror, and almost blinded by the intensity of the light. They heard the voice, but saw no one, and to them all was unintelligible and mysterious. But Saul, lying prostrate upon the ground, understood the words that were spoken, and saw clearly before him the Son of God. One look upon that glorious Being imprinted His image forever upon the soul of the stricken Jew. The words struck home to his heart with appalling force. A flood of light poured in upon the darkened chambers of his mind, revealing his ignorance and error. He saw that, while imagining himself to be zealously serving God in persecuting the followers of Christ, he had in reality been doing the work of Satan. SR 269.2

He saw his folly in resting his faith upon the assurances of the priests and rulers, whose sacred office had given them great influence over his mind and caused him to believe that the story of the resurrection was an artful fabrication of the disciples of Jesus. Now that Christ was revealed to Saul, the sermon of Stephen was brought forcibly to his mind. Those words which the priests had pronounced blasphemy, now appeared to him as truth and verity. In that time of wonderful illumination his mind acted with remarkable rapidity. He traced down through prophetic history and saw that the rejection of Jesus by the Jews, His crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension had been foretold by the prophets, and proved Him to be the promised Messiah. He remembered the words of Stephen: “I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God” (Acts 7:56), and he knew that the dying saint had looked upon the kingdom of glory. SR 269.3

What a revelation was all this to the persecutor of the believers. Clear but terrible light had broken in upon his soul. Christ was revealed to him as having come to earth in fulfillment of His mission, being rejected, abused, condemned, and crucified by those whom He came to save, and as having risen from the dead and ascended into the heavens. In that terrible moment he remembered that the holy Stephen had been sacrificed by his consent, and that through his instrumentality many worthy saints had met their death by cruel persecution. SR 270.1

“And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.” No doubt entered the mind of Saul that this was the veritable Jesus of Nazareth who spoke to him, and that He was indeed the long-looked-for Messiah, the Consolation and Redeemer of Israel. SR 270.2

When the effulgent glory was withdrawn, and Saul arose from the earth, he found himself totally deprived of sight. The brightness of Christ's glory had been too intense for his mortal sight, and when it was removed, the blackness of night settled upon his vision. He believed that his blindness was the punishment of God for his cruel persecution of the followers of Jesus. He groped about in terrible darkness, and his companions, in fear and amazement, led him by the hand into Damascus. SR 271.1