By Ryan Shaw
It does us well to meditate on the splendor of the resurrected, glorified Christ depicted in Revelation 1:12-20. We should regularly gaze (meditate and worship) at these images of Jesus Christ, asking the Holy Spirit to illuminate our spiritual eyes to see and worship Him clearly as He is right now.
It seems many believers have in their minds eye the same vision of Jesus from His crucifixion. Or they imagine Him as some small and weak figure, not relevant to them at all. This hinders their ability to rightly fellowship and commune with Jesus now.
The apostle John encounters His Lord and master not as a broken man on a cross, but as a bright shining and victorious judge.
These are descriptions used of God in the Old Testament and now applied to the Risen and Glorified Christ. Each title displays Jesus’ absolute deity as He shares these same features with His Father who the prophet Daniel referred to as the “Ancient of Days.”
Each image is meant to convey complete strength, authority and love. They are meant to produce awe in us, just as they did when John first gazed upon Him and fell as a dead man.
The long robe and golden band symbolize He is priest, King and judge. He stands as mediator between all humanity and the Father and will rule out perfectly just judgment on all. The golden band was only worn by royalty.
The last time Jesus was seen by the masses was when He was naked, dying on a cross in seeming weakness. Now, His robes are down to His feet as a priest and King wears.
His hair and head are as white as snow. There is absolute purity in this Man as He is sinless and perfect. This white hair also speaks of the wisdom of His age.
He is the “Ancient of Days” who was and is and is to come. He is the eternal One with no beginning and no end, unquestionably wise in every circumstance and situation.
His eyes are as a flame of fire scrutinizing all that is before Him. They possess the fire of judgment as He proceeds forward as the conquering sovereign, destroying the enemies of God by trampling them under His feet.
What might it be like when these same eyes look upon all humanity when He returns? His eyes see everything (all motives, thoughts, actions and more) and burn with love for those who have chosen Him, walking with loyal devotion.
They simultaneously burn with just judgment upon His enemies as they have chosen to defy His governmental leadership.
His feet are like bronze, a strong and powerful metal, for the purpose of trampling. Whom will He trample? Those who resisted His authority, love and tenderness while they had opportunity.
His voice is as thunder. It is strong and mighty, echoing through the heart of every hearer. It is probable John was reminded of the crashing waves of his prison island of Patmos as he considered the mighty voice of Almighty God.
Such a voice brings comfort, provides a gentle rebuke while also possessing the power of creation. Out of His mouth comes a sharp, two-edged sword. It is either a voice of intimacy to those who have walked with Him or destruction for those who have chosen otherwise.
His face shone light the brightness of the sun in its strength. During the days of His ministry this same Christ was full of bodily weakness and frailty, identifying with us in our humanity. He endured temptations and testing common to every human being. Now, this same Christ is exalted in strength and shining brightly in glory.
Looking upon the sun at its highest point will blind a person. The brightness is overwhelming. This is what it is like to gaze upon the Risen, Glorified, Exalted and Beautiful Jesus Christ as He is now.
Peter, James and John had seen a measure of this on one occasion during Jesus’ ministry when He was transfigured before them. On that day His face “shone like the sun.”