A Voice and a Vision – Revelation 1:1-20
“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.”
I don’t know about you, but if I were John, I’m not sure this sentence would make me any less afraid! Upon finding oneself in the presence of the Most Holy One, it’s natural to be confronted with our own mortality and humanity. I might still be afraid… even after (maybe even especially after!) being reminded that Jesus is the First and Last, the Living One who conquered death and the grave.
Instead of reciting His divine and holy attributes, we might prefer Jesus to say, “Don’t be afraid… I’m really just like one of you.”
We like to be reminded of Jesus as a Baby in a manger. We like to be reminded that He was tempted in every way as we are. We like to be reminded of the flesh & blood Jesus who walked on earth among us, sharing our burdens and our tears.
And yet, it is precisely because of Jesus’ holy transcendence that we need not be afraid. If Jesus were really just like one of us, then the cross and empty tomb would have no significance. If Jesus were really just like us, then we would have no hope of freedom from sin. If Jesus were really just like us, then we would still have reason to be afraid.
Counter-intuitively, the reasons we might be afraid of Jesus are the same reasons that we need not be afraid. If we’ve accepted Christ as our Savior, then we have no fear of death and grave… nor do we have any fear of meeting our Savior face to face.
Face to face with my Redeemer, Jesus Christ who loves me so!
Face to face I shall behold Him, Far beyond the starry sky;
Face to face, in all His glory, I shall see Him by and by!
– Carrie E. Breck