To me, the vision that John had of the Son of Man was nothing short of scary!
If it were just what we read in verse 13, “in the midst of the lampstands I saw one like the Son of Man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash across his chest”, it would have been pretty usual, even mundane, Jesus in a tunic and a sash around his waist.
But then I go on to read, “His head and his hair were white as white wool, white as snow; his eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined as in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and from his mouth came a sharp, two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining with full force”.
I can easily understand why John would have fallen at his feet “as though dead” and, no doubt, afraid. I’d have been scared stiff. Jesus knew that this was a scary vision, small wonder he told John “Do not be afraid”.
Indeed, his words extract the fear out of everything scary, really. “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living one. I was dead, and see, I am alive forever and ever; and I have the keys of Death and of Hades”.
Death and hell, and all of the scariest things take on a new face. Jesus is boss, not death, not hell, not Satan, not anything or anyone else. God remains in charge. And we need only to live in God’s love towards us- live in love of God for ourselves and for others- and scary does not become scarring. We need neither be scared nor scarred.
Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword [or whatever]?
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us… For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8: 35, 37-39).
God’s got my back – and yours too. Trust God.