I’ve just started the last leg of my one-year trek through the Bible: The Revelation to John. Reading the first three chapters today got me thinking about the picture of Jesus we’re given in the book:
Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.” (Rev. 1:12-18)
I love this picture of Jesus—no longer “merely” the adopted son of a simple carpenter, no longer a Galilean peasant. No, here is King Jesus, with eyes like fire, a voice that roars, a face that shines with a blinding brightness because of his revealed glory.
And a sharp, two-edged sword in His mouth. The Word of God, “living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Heb. 4:12).
This visual is a powerful reminder of the majesty of the One we worship. The One who willingly laid down His life for ill-deserving sinners like me, and today sits at the right hand of the Father.
He’s not someone any of us can ignore. He’s not someone to be reasoned with (as if we could). He is the only one worthy of our fear, yet He tells us to “fear not.”
He is the First and the Last. He is the Living One who holds the keys of Death and Hades.
He’s the King. And He’s coming soon, sword drawn, to make all things new.
Am I ready for that day?