Saturday, May 23

Revelation 1:12-18:  Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades”

What John saw when he turned towards the Voice shook him to the core. It was the difference between the humiliation and exaltation of Christ. John had witnessed Jesus zealously driving out the animals from the temple courts and knocking over currency exchange booths. Now he saw Jesus as the Son of Man who had approached the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7), a supercharged priest-king of the cosmic temple of God’s Presence. John had heard Jesus say, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will build it again.” Now he saw the true temple of God, the body of Christ in-dwelt by the seven-fold Spirit of God. John had heard Jesus predict the suffering and death of the Son of Man, now he saw the Son of Man in his full glory and might. John who had rested his head on Jesus’ shoulder now fell before his Savior’s feet. He felt like he had died. But then he felt the familiar touch of his old friend. “Do not be afraid,” he said.

The full glory of Christ is too overwhelming for fallen creatures like us, but it is what we are destined for once our journey is complete. Our pathway to sharing in this same glory which Christ has now is by dying and being raised to life again. Every day is a dress rehearsal for the final act, when we die to ourselves and live to God by repenting of the old ways and embracing Jesus’ way of life.

Prayer: Lord God Almighty, you put into perspective my cares and concerns about the worries and griefs of this age when you reveal to me your Son, my Savior, in his full Majesty. Thank you for sharing John’s vision with me, for giving me a glimpse of the glory which fills the universe but is centered in the Son of Man. Let me never take lightly your Holy Presence among your people. You are to be feared and worshipped above all things.