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Last night we continued looking at Revelation 1, pondering John’s vision of the risen Christ.
A vision of Christ, seeing who He is really is, is often the launch point to ministry or fresh service to the Lord. Isaiah, Ezekiel and Daniel were all inspired by an encounter with God Almighty; John, Peter and James were privileged to glimpse something of the glory of God in Jesus at the Transfiguration. (Matthew 17:1-8) John may have been exiled in Patmos, but here he is given a new task, to write a letter to the seven churches of Asia about what he has seen, what is and what is yet to come. We owe this whole book to his encounter with the First and the Last, the One who was dead and is now alive forever and ever.
The vision of Jesus is one of a magnificent, glorious,, risen Lord who is yet recognisable as ‘one like a son of man.’ The vision echoes Daniel’s (see Daniel 7 and 10), focussing on the purity and authority of Jesus as represented by His clothing, on His brilliance (light being a common theme in the Bible to symbolise God) and the magnificence of His being. Col 1:15-22 reminds us of the supremacy of Christ, and this is one of the key aspects of this vision.
Yet we also see Christ’s condescension to humanity in that He is willing to walk among the lampstands (which represent the churches). Jesus is with us always (see Matt 28:18-20, Matt 18:20) We have hope in this life and beyond because the One who is with us is the Lamb who was slain and now holds the keys to death and Hades!