ghost’, they said, and cried out in fear”
We went to New York on a budget but somehow we saw
"everything", including the Broadway show, "The Phantom of the Opera." I
was always curious about the seats in those little boxes at the sides of
theaters but never sat in them. I had assumed, because of their
exclusivity, they would be more expensive. Not so, for they were half
the price of orchestra seating. We did the math, decided to afford it,
and went to see "The Phantom".
It was wonderful - full of special effects and in
general, a lot of fun. But the box (loge) seating was indeed different.
For one thing, there was a corner of the stage we could not see, which
was initially disconcerting. But there were unexpected benefits.
We could look behind the scenes. We were able to
peer directly down into the orchestra pit and watch the musicians and
conductor. Also, we could look into the wings and see the actors who
were waiting to come on stage. And, at one point, when the audience was
to see a flash of light and the actor would disappear right before their
eyes, we saw him lift up his arms and jump through a trapdoor on the
It was, of course, a reminder of the Book of
Revelation and other "apocalyptic" sections of the Bible, and it offered
us a new "look" at what such writings may be all about. In such places,
we are taken "behind the scenes" of this world and are shown the "heavenlies",
from God's perspective instead of our own. An example is Revelation
10:1, "And I saw another strong angel coming down
out of heaven, clothed with a cloud; and the rainbow was upon his head,
and his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire".
In New York, we saw trains, taxis, homes,
buildings, people, pets, and much more. What does GOD "see" when He
looks at you and the circumstances of your life? More than you do,
that's for sure. For one thing, He sees your "heart" and knows your
underlying motives in relation to every situation. He also clearly sees
the unseen beings and events that continually surround us, though WE are
usually oblivious even to their existence.
In places like Revelation 10:1, where we saw the "strong
angel, clothed with a cloud; and the rainbow was upon his head, and his
face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire", we
should reasonably wonder: Are such creatures here with us right now, and
we don’t see them? The answer is, emphatically YES. And our Lord is with
us, as well.
The key Person “behind the scenes” of our life is
the Lord Jesus Christ. He is always “walking on the waters” of your
troubles and mine, just like He did that night when the disciples were
frightened because He walked on water. They were in a small boat in a
storm which meant difficult circumstances, and He came to them in their
But they were frightened at the sight of Him, for
they didn’t expect ANYONE to be walking toward them during a storm in
the middle of the Sea of Galilee. They yelled, “It’s
a ghost” and they “cried out in fear”
(Matthew 14:26). Now, you may be afraid of what you cannot see or
control, just like the disciples of Jesus, but take a moment to look at
the next verse: Jesus told them, “Take courage! It
is I. Don’t be afraid” (Matthew 14:27).
In all your difficulties and sorrows, Jesus Christ
is reaching out to you. You may be deeply afraid right now, but He loves
you and longs to deliver you from the storms of life. He is telling you
right now: “Take courage! It is I.” And He
reminds you, “Don’t be afraid.” His love
for you is real and He will bring you through.
“The Phantom” we saw in New York was the fictional
portrayal of someone who hid behind the scenes and manipulated others
for his own ends. He wanted to TAKE from others, whereas our Lord is the
precise opposite of such a being. Jesus cried out, “I
am the bread of life” (John 6:35), for He is able to SATISFY your
The other day, we were in San Diego, and the
especially good part of it was that we got to see Christo and Blake. As
we left in the evening, we were hungry and stopped at a local fast food
place because it had a "drive-through" lane, enabling us to quickly get
back onto the freeway. We arrived at the posted menu and were attempting
to select something, when the voice on the intercom asked, "What’ll you
We didn't see a salad on the menu, so we asked, "Do
you have veggie burgers?" The prompt answer was "Yes, we do," and we
ordered two of them, along with a drink and an order of onion rings. As
we received the bag of items, we checked and, sure enough, all of it
seemed to be there. The price had been reasonable (under $5.00) and we
were again driving north, unwrapping veggie burgers as we went.
It was the second bite that told us something was
wrong. There was nothing unusual about the hamburger bun, and the
lettuce, tomato and onion were present, but there was nothing else! No
veggie burger! They looked good until we bit into them, for we had
essentially – nothing!
That’s so true of the religions and philosophies of
this world. They often look good, but when you “bite” into them, they
don’t satisfy your soul. When Jesus said, “I am
the bread of life” (John 6:35), He revealed that He is offering
you peace with God and the joy of the Lord. Receive Him and you will be
SATISFIED – forever!
“The Phantom of the Opera” is a fictional
character, presented as a man of many mysteries. “God’s
mystery” (Colossians 2:2) is not fictional at all, for He is the
Son of God, “in whom are hidden all the treasures
of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 3:3). He is Himself God, “for
in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form”
Jesus Christ loves you and He proved it by dying in
your place. We have no spiritual “bread”
and He has given us food for our souls. Actually, He IS our food, given
by God, just as surely as the “manna”
(bread from God) was given to ancient Israel.
Forgive us, Father, for the many times we have not
trusted in You. We love You and trust in You now. Thank You for sending
us the Son of God. We receive You, Lord. Send Your Spirit and let us
live in You. In Jesus Name. Amen.
God bless you.
Friday Study Ministries
P.O. Box 92131
Long Beach, CA 90809-2131
we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8)