Revelation 1:17-18 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 behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.”
The incredible grace of our Lord! This indicates the extremely high value John had, but even he was overwhelmed by seeing Jesus in all His glory. However, our Lord in all His glory still reached out so gently and placed His hand on John and said “Do not be afraid.” Who would not love a Lord like that? We don’t often think of Christ in glory, as He is described here. We prefer to think of the carpenter and itinerant teacher who walked the shores of Lake Galilee. However, they are one and the same. That’s what makes God’s plan of salvation so absolutely incredible. How could the Lord of Glory lower Himself to reside in a human womb, be born as a human baby, and live the same life we do? (And remember, this was over 2000 years ago, with none at all of our modern conveniences.) How could this same Lord of Glory take our sins on Himself and willingly be nailed to a cross, after enduring a horrible scourging, and there give His life in our place? Because we can’t wrap our minds around that, we make Him out to be somehow less than He was and is. Paul didn’t have the same experience as John, but he still wrote of the Christ he knew, in Philippians 2:6-11 and Colossians 1:15-20. We tend to bring Christ down to our level, which isn’t the same thing as His having come down to our level, because we forget where He came from, and what His true nature is. We focus on ourselves and our experiences, and so forget that we indeed are privileged to serve the Lord of Glory. We tend to get all impressed by the British royal family, for example, when human pomp and circumstance doesn’t begin to compare with the One who loves us so much He gave His life for us. Life becomes much easier when we have such a vision of our Lord, because we understand how insignificant any suffering is compared to Him, not only what He went through but how He is right now on our behalf.
My own vision of Christ is slowly being elevated. I have known all these things in theory for a long time, but God in His grace is making them real to me. Right now I’m reading a book by a man who had an extended time in heaven and was sent back, and it is renewing this vision of Christ in my heart. It’s interesting that nothing in the book is surprising to me because of my familiarity with the Bible and from hearing my wife’s experiences when she died and was sent back, but it is deeply moving to read the account and know in the depths of my being that it is true, though I haven’t been there yet myself. There are many songs that catch bits and pieces of this. One that has been very meaningful in my own life is He Lives, that starts out, “I serve a risen Savior; He’s in the world today.” It is when I grasp that my risen Savior is as John saw him that my doubts and fears dissolve in wonder at the Lord of Glory who loves me. I need to allow that awareness to permeate my entire being, every moment of my life, so that I will speak and act and live appropriately, for His glory.
Father, thank You for this reminder. Help me indeed live in awe and joy that the Lord of Glory loves me, as You do, so that His glory may be manifested through me. Thank You. Hallelujah!