When I saw him, I fell at his feet as if I were dead. But he laid his right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last. I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave. Revelation 1:17-18 (NLT)
The Book of Revelation is often thought of as a book about the end of time. And it may have that in it but it in the first chapter it says “The Revelation of Jesus Christ.” It’s really a book about who Jesus is after the resurrection. WOOT!
John was in vision. Just before he fell down as dead, he saw this.
12 When I turned around to see what sort of voice this was that was addressing me, I saw seven golden lampstands. 13 And among the lampstands, I saw One like the Son of Man right in front of me dressed in a long robe. Across His chest was draped a golden sash. 14 His head and hair were pure white, white as wool and white as snow; His eyes blazed like a fiery flame; 15 His feet gleamed like brightly polished bronze, purified to perfection in a furnace; His voice filled the air and sounded like a roaring waterfall. 16 He held seven stars in His right hand, from His mouth darted a sharp double-edged sword, and His face shone a brilliant light, like the blinding sun. (VOICE)
If you saw that, what would you do? Especially the sharp double-edged sword. In the Bible this signifies judgement. I wonder if John collapsed because he thought he was going to receive God’s judgement. I think I might collapse too if I thought that. But, let’s look just a little deeper.
First, Jesus shows up dressed in a long robe with a golden sash. This is the garment of the high priest that intervened for the people before God. After John fainted, he laid his right hand on him. The right hand in the Bible signified blessing and the power to sustain. And then he said “Don’t be afraid.” If you translate this from the Greek, it actually means “Stop being afraid.”
After this, Jesus goes on to say “I am the First and the Last. I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.”
Can I paraphrase a little?
Child of God, I am your Advocate. I have conquered death, your death. Stop worrying about how good you are. Stop being afraid of what’s next. I have overcome it all. Trust what I have already done for you. I love you.
It made my heart glad to understand this. You see, no matter what is happening all around us, we still have Jesus. We are covered. We are saved. Forever and ever. Amen.