There on the road to Damascus Saul met the resurrected Christ. He had heard about Jesus and His earthly service. As most Pharisees He believed Jesus was an imposter. Vehemently Saul persecuted those following the way. Even though Saul most likely hadn’t met Jesus he knew him according to the flesh. How he perceived Jesus and His ministry was merely one-dimensional, and Saul hadn’t much regard for this in many ways ordinary person’s claims of being the savior of the world.
The only way to know the resurrected Christ is by becoming blind to knowing Jesus only after the flesh. Blind to the earthly realities Saul’s inner eyes were opened to grasp the enormity of the cross. In his blindness he could acquaint the invisible Christ. The Saul whose whole life had been engrossed in the outer things became Paul who led a life from inner realities. Fixed in the inner realities of the spiritual world he regained his vision so that he could influence the outer world.
The loss of sight also denotes our utter helplessness in our encounter with Christ. We have nothing to offer except our lives through which He can reach out to a world that believe it is seeing, but is truly blind. Until we have become blind to the outer world we have no proper vision. It is when we become blind that we become seers. As seers we recognize our nothingness and His superior abilities to live the life we all are created to be partakers of.
At the Damascus road we all get our new name. The name that has been a part of our self consciousness to this point is declared void and of no effect when we meet Christ. Our new name comes into effect when we are baptized into Christ. It severed our strings to the past and all those old lies which have kept us in bondage and without hope in this world. It denotes a completely new direction, and it accentuates our new standing as new creations with hope for the future.
When Saul encountered Jesus a light from heaven flashed around him. The Spirit opens our eyes so that we are enabled to see Jesus in a new light. Seeing Jesus merely after the flesh causes us to want to emulate His deeds and attitudes without acknowledging the Spirit dimension of His life. He is both flesh and spirit, and so are we; flesh made perfect by the Spirit. Flesh is spirit manifested and that is our glory.