Imagine the smell of diesel smacking on concrete. Remember a time you opened the lid to your grill and the heat cocooned inside slammed into your face. (You probably lost some arm hair too.) Think about that one thunderclap you heard, then felt, in the middle of the night. These events and the vision of Jesus in Revelation chapter 1 all have something in common.
Power. Awe. Fear.
The apostle John’s vision, also known as the Revelation of Jesus Christ, kicks off with exactly that: a vision of Jesus Christ. But this experience of Jesus is different than the one that prompted John to write the Gospel that bears his name. This vision of Jesus is cranked to eleven—eleven-hundred volts of power and glory.
Revelation opens with a picture of Jesus that should wake us up, jolt us. It ought to make us sit back in awe and lean forward in thanksgiving. The one whose eyes are like a flame of fire (all-seeing), the one who has a sword coming out of this mouth (His words pronounce judgments), and the one whose hair is a brilliant white (totally wise)—He is the one who loves us, who saved us, the one who has made us His own.
John’s vision of the risen Lord Jesus reminds us of something we are prone to forget—Jesus is full-strength God. Just because Jesus was crucified, don’t think He’s a pushover. He’s not weak. He tells us: “I am the First and the Last, and the Living One. I was dead, but look—I am alive forever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and Hades” (Revelation 1:17–18). He is in charge. He alone oversees the living and the dead for all eternity.
Jesus is more than a great speaker. He’s more than some kind of guru who gives out sage advice for how to live well on this planet. He is the First. The Last. It’s all about Him. Is this how you view Jesus? Is this how you treat Jesus? Is this how you worship Jesus? Do you have this kind of faith and trust and dependency on the one whose voice is like the sound of rushing waters? (14:2). Look to Him again. Let the heatwaves from Revelation 1 revive your heart for Jesus again.
Written by J. A. Medders