Revelation 1:12-17: Son-kissed.
“12 I turned round to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man,dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash round his chest. 14 The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. 15 His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: ‘Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.” NIV
I once heard a recording of the well-known Bible teacher, Dr. J. Sidlow Baxter. In his Yorkshire accent, he described a boy he’d met of another nationality. ‘He had a smile like a Mediterranean sunset’, commented Dr. Baxter. Doesn’t that paint a picture? We haven’t looked at every detail of this glorious vision of our Lord Jesus Christ, but I invite you to read it through again today, and feel the overall impression. Allow it to impact your imagination. It is overwhelming, and I believe it is intended to bring us to the place where we join John at the feet of Jesus (17a). Where else do we belong in the presence of such a majestic Person?
John’s final description of Jesus here says, ‘’His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance’’ (16). Just recently my wife and I had a wedding anniversary. We returned to the hotel where we spent the first 24 hours or so of our married life, eight years ago. On the morning of our anniversary, we again walked in the woods on the hotel’s estate, as we had done previously. A greyish morning gave way to bluer skies and bright sunshine. At one point the sun was so strong, and the lake shimmered with its reflection. I wanted to look at it but I couldn’t. We didn’t dare. It was too powerful. If you look directly into the sunlight you can be blinded. Much as you enjoy it, you also fear it, and you are wise to do so. As C.S. Lewis wrote about ‘Aslan’, the Lion who represents Christ in the Narnia books, ‘He’s good, but He isn’t safe.’
No wonder, then, John writes, ‘’When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead.’’ As already said, this is where we too belong.
‘How beautiful, how beautiful, the sight of thee must be…’ What will it mean to see the One who made the sun?
One final thought: if the church is in close proximity to Jesus, or rather, He is in close contact with her, surely she will reflect His light, and be a ‘lampstand’ in the world? That is the intention.