As I write, we have just celebrated Easter in the church calendar. This is the central event of the Christian faith – the day we focus on the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
There are accounts of people meeting the resurrected Jesus in the gospels. But can we meet that same Jesus today? Can we even meet Him in our dreams? Maybe you already have and didn’t know it!
Read on – and find out how Jesus could appear – either symbolically or literally – in your dreams.
Introduction: Jesus is alive
At Easter we remember the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We remember that God so loved us that He chose to die for us. And we remember that death could not hold Him down – He came out of that grave!
The historical biblical accounts tell us that:
- Jesus died on a cross (Mark 15).
- He rose from the dead (Mark 16:1-8)
- Many people saw Him in His risen form (Mark 16:9-14)
- He ascended into heaven (Mark 16:19)
But what does that mean for us today? Is it just some historical event that happened 2000 years ago? Well, if these things are really true, then it follows that Jesus is still alive today.
Maybe you don’t believe that it really happened. Maybe you will only believe if you meet the risen Christ yourself. Well, you won’t be the first person to say that, and the good news is – you can!
Biblical encounters with the risen Jesus
Meeting Jesus after His resurrection
Can you imagine what it would have been like having watched Jesus die – then to see Him appear out of nowhere, and do things like walk through walls? That’s exactly what the early disciples witnessed and recorded in their gospels.
One of my favourite bible stories is the account of two disciples walking on the road to Emmaus, which can be found in Luke 24:13-35. This event happened after Jesus’ resurrection, but the two disciples involved did not yet know that He was alive.
Jesus came and walked with them along the road, and just talked to them like an ordinary person. He discussed recent events with them and unpacked the answers to their questions. It was only later that they realised that it was, in fact, Jesus, and they recognised Him.
It was only later that they realised it was Jesus, and they recognised Him.
How wonderful to have that experience! To just walk and talk with the risen Christ. Isn’t that something that you would love to experience too?
- What questions would you ask?
- What would you like Him to explain?
Meeting Jesus after His ascension
At the end of the gospels we read that Jesus ascended into heaven. So, does that mean we can’t meet Him anymore? Absolutely not! There are examples in the bible of people who met Jesus after He ascended into heaven:
- John, the disciple, encountered Jesus and recorded his experience in Revelation 1.
- John was also shown a door standing open in heaven (Revelation 4), and was able to go into the heavenly realms to the throne of God, and encounter Jesus there too.
- The apostle Paul encountered Jesus who appeared to him on the road to Damascus. This led to his conversion (Acts 9).
- Paul wrote in his letter to the Galatians that much of his revelation came directly from the Lord Jesus Himself (Galatians 1:11-12). In other writings he also insinuated that he was caught up to the third heaven (2 Corinthians 12:2). And if it was not him who had this experience – well, he knew the person who did.
Therefore, we can see that even though Jesus ascended into heaven, it is possible for us to still encounter Him by:
- Him appearing to us on earth
- Us meeting Him in the heavenly realms
You may wonder why I have mentioned this. It is because I want to set a biblical foundation for what I am about to share, which is how we – just like the early believers – can still encounter Jesus today.
Meeting Jesus today
I am personally acquainted with people who have met Jesus. In some instances, Jesus appeared to them. In others, they were taken into the heavenly realms and saw Him there – just like in the biblical examples I have just shared. I also know people who have seen Jesus in their dreams.
For many years I longed to meet Jesus. I had faith in Him, and believed He was alive. I prayed to Him and felt that He was with me. But it could have been subjective. It could have just been a belief system that made me feel good. I didn’t have anything concrete to go by.
That is, until I started recording and considering my dreams. Once I started doing that, I quickly realised that they were a doorway to the spiritual realm – and encounters with God! I realised that God was speaking through my dreams, but additionally, He was actually showing up in some of them. And Jesus even started to appear sometimes too!
Each time it was slightly different. I can count these appearances on my fingers. But, as you can imagine, these were very significant occasions for me!
How did I know it was Him? Well, in dreams you just ‘know’ things. But, also, I recognised Him as the One I knew from my prayer times, from reading the bible over many years, and from the relationship I had with Him.
Meeting Jesus literally in dreams
Here is a list of the different ways Jesus has appeared to me literally – i.e. when I was aware that it was Him in the dream:
|The way Jesus appeared||Description of the dream|
|Light and peace||Jesus waved at me from a distance and said He was coming to help me. Then, unexpectedly, He walked in, and I just saw a blindingly bright light come in. The situation was immediately at peace.|
|Overawing and prophet||Jesus appeared three times in a row. The first time I was overcome by His presence; less so the second time. By the third time I was able to stand in His presence. He placed his hand on my back and prophesied about something that would happen 7 years from that date.|
|Fire and mentor||In the dream I knew that Jesus was personally mentoring me. He was laying His hands inside my heart and fire was going through my whole body.|
|Lion||He came and talked to me in the form of a lion. I was fully aware that it was Jesus in the dream.|
|With humour||My car was flagged over by the police and I got out. Jesus met me. I recognised him because of His sense of humour. He sent me off walking in a different direction. (Read more about this dream in Meeting a Jesus who laughs.)|
|Superhero and rock||In the dream I was in a car accident. I thought I was going to die, but I flew up into the air. Jesus appeared in the air like a superhero, grinning, and caught me. His grip felt as solid as a rock.|
|Spiritual being||Jesus came into the room appearing transparent. I recognised it as being His spiritual form. He sat on the sofa next to me and I laid my head on him. It was like car headlights were shining into my life as I sat there.|
|Childlike||Jesus looked like a young boy, and showed me some wondrous things. We walked through a wall to escape a situation.|
|As a man||I dreamed Jesus was in our house, very normally. He offered me some new wine.|
Of course, these dreams are very precious and personal to me. I share them as a testimony to inspire faith in what is possible for you if you start listening to your dreams! I also wanted to show how each occasion was completely different in the way Jesus appeared.
Meeting Jesus symbolically in dreams
There are also other ways that Jesus appears in dreams. Often, I have woken up from a dream to realise that I had been with Jesus – only I didn’t know that it was Him in the dream! This is much more common than the literal times that I described above.
Jesus usually appears in disguise – just like He did to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus.
Why does He do this? There could be various reasons:
- So we are not overawed by his presence
- To get a message through that we would not have received if we knew it was Him
- To convey a particular aspect of His character
Here are some of the ways that Jesus could appear in dreams – disguised in symbolic form – in the context of modern life:
|Dream character who represents Jesus||Bible passage that shows Jesus in this role|
|Your husband||Isaiah 54:5 For your husband is your Maker, Whose name is the Lord of armies; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth.|
|Your brother||Hebrews 2:11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for this reason He is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters,|
|Your boss||Revelation 19:16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written: “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”|
|A friend / companion||John 15:15 No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, because all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.|
|A teacher||John 3:2 …this man came to Jesus at night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”|
|A church leader||Colossians 1:18 He is also the head of the body, the church|
|A doctor / healer||Matthew 4:23 Jesus was going about in all of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every sickness among the people.|
There are also some common names which might indicate that the person in your dream – with that name – could represent Jesus:
|Joshua / Josh||Joshua comes from the same Hebraic root as the name Jesus – i.e. Yeshua. N.B. Joshua could also be about taking your promised land due to the bible book of that name.|
|Chris||From the root word ‘Christ’. This name and its other forms (e.g. Christopher or Christine) could also symbolise someone who is a follower of Jesus.|
|Ben||Means ‘son’. Jesus is the Son of God.|
Note: These people/symbols do not always represent Jesus in dreams – but they might do, and it is definitely worth considering the possibility!
There are probably lots of other examples too, but hopefully you get the idea!
- Why not spend some time imagining what each of the above ideas could look like in a dream?
- Maybe you are already remembering a dream that you had – and realising that it might have been Jesus!
- If you record your dreams, you could do a search for some of the above symbols – and consider whether it was actually Jesus in your dream.
Here is a great example I saw from Charity Kayembe in her Glory Waves blog. In this dream, her brother Joshua represents Jesus: https://www.glorywaves.org/a-prophetic-dream-god-on-trial-part-i/
Real dream example
Jesus commonly appears in my dreams in the guise of my husband. Occasionally I am feeling cross with him or arguing in the dream. This enables Jesus/God to show me where I am feeling angry with Him or at odds with His plans for me. By appearing in a form I do not recognise in the dream, it allows those feelings to come out so I can face them and allow God to transform me.
Here is a real dream where Jesus appeared in my dream symbolically, but I didn’t know it was Him at the time:
Dream: My husband wouldn’t help me
In the dream I was throwing a party for my children and their friends in an old church building. My husband was there but he was not helping me. I felt very cross that He was not helping.
Context: At that time I was extremely busy with church life, organising things, which is the content of this dream.
My husband represents Jesus. At first I could not see how he could represent Jesus, because surely Jesus would be helping me. It was only later that I realised that I was trying to do so many things in my own strength that God never asked me to do. That was the purpose of the dream.
God was showing me that He was always with me, but was wanting to set me free: free from feeling burdened to do things that He never asked me to do. He was highlighting my feelings of frustration towards Him so I could repent.
I hope that from this example you can grasp the power of dreams to reveal subconscious attitudes and mindsets that need to change for our benefit. And I also hope you can see how Jesus sometimes shows up subtly – so we can receive the message that He brings.
Have you met Jesus?
Some of you will already have had encounters with Jesus while you were awake. I haven’t. Neither do I find it very easy to connect with Him or hear His voice while awake. That makes the times when He has appeared in my dreams extra special to me.
For those who long to meet Jesus, yet also find it difficult to connect, maybe dreams could be a doorway for you to a new level of relationship.
Meeting Jesus in The Chosen
Recently I have started watching season 2 of The Chosen TV series.
One of the things that stood out in season 1 was the way it portrays the people who met Jesus, and the impact He had on their lives: the awe and wonder, and the mixed reactions. There were moments when you could almost feel the people wondering who on earth this man was – and sense the questions ticking over in their minds.
Consider the following scene which shows the moment when Jesus healed a paralysed man:
Can you imagine what it would have been like to witness these things? To stand next to Jesus and wonder if he was really God?
After that whole episode I spent several hours pondering on the difference Jesus made in the lives of the people who met Him. And I felt stirred to write – to tell everyone that we can meet the same Jesus today – for real!
Meeting the resurrected Christ is not exclusively for the early church, gifted individuals, or certain ‘special’ people.
You and I can meet Jesus regularly in our dreams – either literally or symbolically. If, like me, you struggle to connect with God in other ways, this is an incredible blessing.
Sometimes, like the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, we do not realise that it was Jesus at the time. This means that we need to record our dreams and think about them afterwards – to consider whether or not it was Him!
You could try asking Jesus a question before you go to bed, and then see whether you have a dream that gives you God’s perspective!
So why not start writing your dreams down today, and learning how to interpret them within the framework of your relationship with God?
Make a start today!
- Best bible-based dream interpretation resources – for Christians
- Dream symbols: Right, left, front, and back – and what they mean
- Am I crazy to believe God is speaking though my dreams?
- How I learned to interpret dreams while working, raising 3 boys, and running a church!
- Dream symbols: The colour green and what it means