Revelation 1:13-16 gives a description of Christ as the perfect judge. It is a frightening description. John knew Christ well; still, to see Christ like that filled John with fear. John was so afraid that he fell to the ground.
So Christ spoke to John, to give him strength and confidence. Christ has not changed. He is still the living one: God, who lives always. From him, all life comes (John 1:4; Acts 17:28). So, Christ was still the God whom John loved so much.
Christ then reminded John of the reasons why Christians love him (1 John 4:9-10). These events, of which John was a witness, have given them a right relationship with God. That is a relationship of love; there is no need for fear of Godís judgement. John himself taught that lesson in 1 John 4:17-18.
Firstly, Christ died so that God could forgive his peopleís evil deeds. John was himself present at the cross; he saw how Christ died (John 19:26; John 19:35). However, death had no power over the living God (Acts 2:24). In fact, by his death, Christ destroyed the power of death (Hebrews 2:14).
So Christ became alive again and John was a witness of that fact, too. John was also a witness of the fact that Christ did not die again; instead, he rose into heaven (Acts 1:9). John knew about these things that had happened in the past. They reminded him about Christís character, and especially Christís love for his people. Now Christ began to show him the things that will happen in the future.
Of course, Christ will live always. He is the living God who will never die. He has control even over death, and the place where dead people are. Both the devil and death are still active in this world. However, the defeat of every evil power is certain (1 Corinthians 15:54-57). Christ, the living God, will defeat them all (20:10; 20:13-14).
Next part: The work of a prophet (Revelation 1:19)
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© 2016, Keith Simons.