Yesterday, we began our series through the 7 Churches of Asia from Revelation chapters 2-3. As I’ve expressed many times over the years, I love the book of Revelation. It shows us Christ. It shows us his glory. It shows us his victory over sin and death. The book of Revelation wasn’t given by God to confuse us. After all, God is NOT the author of confusion (1 Cor 14:33). Rather, the book of Revelation was given to suffering Christians to… well, reveal the victory that we have in Christ and the heavenly reward that awaits all who are united to him. Needless to say, I am more than a little excited to have the opportunity to preach through chapters 2-3, and I pray that it will be a blessing to CCF.
In chapter 1, John begins, “I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands, one like a Son of Man…” (1:12-13a). Jesus often referred to himself in the Gospels as the “Son of Man.” This title comes directly from from the prophets and especially Daniel chapter 7:13-14: I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. 14 And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.” In Revelation chapter 1, John says that he saw in a vision the Son of Man – the one to whom will be given dominion and glory and a kingdom.
John goes on to describe the Son of Man as “clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. 14 The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, 15 his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. 16 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” (Rev 1:13b-16). Wow. This is Jesus. This is the Son of Man. This is the Christ. This is… wait… hold on…
If we go back to Daniel we find almost the exact same description, only it describes the Ancient of Days (The Lord God), not the Son of Man: “As I looked, thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days took his seat; his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames; its wheels were burning fire. 10 A stream of fire issued and came out from before him; a thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened…” (Dan 7:9-10).
Do you see what John did there? He describes the Son of Man by using Daniel’s description of the Ancient of Days. To say it more succinctly, John is insinuating that the Son of Man (Jesus) IS the Ancient of Days (God). Ya’ll, that’s just in chapter 1!
Here’s our hope: Jesus is divine – he is the Lord of Glory, he is the one who has already conquered, he is the one who is worthy to open the scroll, he is the King of all Kings and Lord of all Lords, he is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, he is the Lion of the tribe of Judah, yet he is also the Lamb slain before the foundation of the earth, he is the Son of Man and he is the Ancient of Days, he has been given all authority and all dominion – he will one day return for suffering sheep and wipe every single tear away from every single eye. John points us to Jesus and says, “LOOK! Look to Jesus and keep going.”
Beloved, this week I pray that you will look to Jesus and keep going. When life overwhelms and troubles arise we must fight the evil temptation to look within ourselves for strength and fortitude – NO! Look to Jesus, the object of our faith and the lover of our souls.
Be blessed this week, church. I love you so much.