I was so blessed this week as I started to read the book of Revelation. I was drawn to tears of joy as I read/saw the vision of our Lord Jesus, the one who: washed the feet of the disciples, walked upon this earth, was moved with compassion for the sinful and suffering condition of the human race, constrained Himself from moving in His own sovereignty (He created the Heavens/universes and the Earth) and did so much more. As I read of John’s picture of Him I saw Jesus in a very different light.
I am always so very grateful and moved by Jesus’ humanity, which for me was no greater expressed than in the ‘troubles and deep distress’ (John 12:27) He experienced and spoke of, both leading up to and culminating in the garden of Gethsemane. It was in Gethsemane that for me, He showed His ultimate human credentials in His human frailty, where knowing that He was the only one eligible/qualified/suitable/worthy to answer the requirements of the Law that was against us (Col 2:14), He still asked our Father, if the cup could pass from Him on more than one occasion (Matt. 26:39).
Barnes commentary helps us to get some insight on what the ‘cup’ that Jesus carried means:
‘”Let this cup” – These bitter sufferings. These approaching trials. The word cup is often used in this sense, denoting sufferings’ (Barnes 1834).
Incidentally, I think that most of us probably wouldn’t even have got to Gethsemane, but would have long since given up for ourselves, much less carrying the cup for the whole entire world.
I believe it is important to really appreciate just how human Jesus was as He fulfilled His ministry here on earth to truly understand the message of the Gospel. It was in Jesus’ baptism (Luke 3:21-22) that we see the Holy Spirit descend upon Him and it is in the Power of the Holy Spirit alone that Jesus ministered, healed and taught. In that vein that He said:
“12 I assure you and most solemnly say to you, anyone who believes in Me [as Saviour] will also do the things that I do; and he will do even greater things than these [in extent and outreach], because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12)
Jesus was as human as you and me when He defeated Satan and therefore we can walk and move with confidence knowing that ‘We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us’ (Phil 4:13). But let me not digress…
So, on my journey I have grown to understand and appreciate, or I could say relate to, Jesus so much more as Saviour, but there is the other side to Him that I guess I have feared to delve into, that is Jesus as the righteous judge. You know, like the one that is described in…
The Book of Revelation
So, I’ve finally got back to where I began, the book of Revelation. It was as I read Revelation, I rejoiced in my spirit. I saw the Jesus who overcame the world and its leader Satan (John 16:33) and the majestic Jesus who has given me/us the commission and authority to “go and make disciples of all the nations [help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words], baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” Matt 28:19 (AMP), and it reinvigorated my spirit. When I read/saw the description of Jesus it was so very clear as to why NO FOE can stand against him and when we walk in unswerving faith, US also –
13 and in the midst of the lampstands I saw someone [a]like the Son of Man, dressed in a robe reaching to His feet, and with a golden sash wrapped around His chest.
14 His head and His hair were white like white wool, [glistening white] like snow; and His [all-seeing] eyes were [flashing] like a flame of fire [piercing into my being].
15 His feet were like burnished [white-hot] bronze, refined in a furnace, and His voice was [powerful] like the sound of many waters.
16 In His right hand He held seven stars, and from His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword [of judgment]; and His face [reflecting His majesty and the [b]Shekinah glory] was like the sun shining in [all] its power [at midday]. Revelation 1:13-16 (AMP)
It was in seeing this glorious vision of Jesus, that I was awestruck that He “who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.” (Phil 2:6-7).
Revelation 1:13-16 reinforced for me the purity, meekness and sacrifice that Jesus showed, whilst also showing the great restraint that God has shown in His dealings with us. That He would suffer with our stiff- necked ways (Act 7:51 & Deut 9:13), restrain Himself from dealing with us as our sinful nature deserved and keep His word in how He would deal with the evil one of this world is amazing. Even more so, God gave us the authority as children and sons of God to fatally bruise the head of Satan (Gen 3: 15). God was fully entitled to do this as the creator of all (including the angels of which Satan is one, albeit fallen) but no – God gave us the authority to do this instead. God set out His purpose with you and me in mind and no matter what may come, He keeps his word and watches over it to perform it (Isa 55:11 & Jer 1:12).
So, let us not be ones who walk with Jesus for such a long time, yet not know Him (John 14:9) in ALL aspects of His being and let’s push into Him further through prayer, the reading of the word and the fellowship of the saints through church membership, in order to come to know Him more.
God bless you,
1 Thessalonians 5:21 (New Living Translation)
‘But test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good’
Barnes, A., 2019. Matthew 26 Barnes’ Notes (Notes on the Bible by Albert Barnes .). [Online]
Available at: https://biblehub.com/commentaries/barnes/matthew/26.htm