I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.
- Revelation 1:12-18
“It may be that, like the apostle John, you know Jesus Christ intimately. Yet when He suddenly appears to you with totally unfamiliar characteristics, the only thing you can do is fall ‘at His feet as dead.’ There are times when God cannot reveal Himself in any other way than in His majesty, and it is the awesomeness of the vision which brings you to the delight of despair. You experience this joy in hopelessness, realizing that if you are ever to be raised up it must be by the hand of God.”
- Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest
I have mentioned before about a little conversation from my old Sunday school class about how an older member of the class said that he was going to simply walk up to Jesus and shake His hand. The rest of the class said that they would fall on the floor and need to be picked up.
The Apostle John used the latter response, falling as if he were dead.
While most rational people, who understand that we are sinners and do not deserve to be in God’s presence, will opt for the latter response. The logic, however twisted, in the old man is that Jesus was a friend, thus a handshake. The concept makes sense, but glowing feet, blazing eyes, and a tongue like a double-edged sword? That’s scary enough to send anyone to their knees.
But forget our first encounter in the next life, what about now?
Do we not need that slap to our senses at times? We might be feeling sorry for ourselves. We might be going back to sinful thoughts and actions that we had left years ago. We might not be forgiving someone. We might have taken over piloting and relegated Jesus to the co-pilot seat. Whatever harms our friend relationship with Jesus becomes a little more important at that moment than Jesus is. When Jesus takes second place to anything, we need to remember who is ultimately in charge.
What happens when you see one short glimpse of the transfigured Jesus in your mind?
Does that cause you to repent of your sins and forgive the other people? Does that cause you to glory in God’s provision and forget about the momentary troubles in your life?
God is magnificent in His Glory. I am sure there were other things about Jesus that the Apostle John could have mentioned, if he only had the words in which to do so.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.