Do you know what Jesus looks like? When you picture him, what comes to mind? Often we think of Jesus dying on the cross. But is Jesus on the cross now? No way! Listen to how Jesus is described in Revelation: “Among the lampstands was someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around 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” (Revelation 1:13-16). Wow! That’s what Jesus really looks like!
As I read those words in a Bible study recently, a woman interrupted me. She timidly said, “I must be really sinful, but when I hear about Jesus like this, it makes me afraid. I’m not like Jesus at all!” What do you think? She’s absolutely right! Why should we have anything to do with Jesus? His glory and beauty and perfection are terrifying when compared to our sin and guilt and weakness. In fact, that woman reacted to Jesus exactly like John did when he saw Jesus in his vision: “ When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead.” We sinners have no business being in the presence of our perfect God!
But listen to what happened next: “Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades” (Revelation 1:17-18). Don’t we have a beautiful Savior? In grace, Jesus reminds John that he has nothing to fear. Why? Because Jesus saved him! The everlasting God—the “First and the Last”—died on the cross for John and you and me and our sins. Then Jesus rose again and is alive forever and forever. In Jesus’ hand is power over the entire world, including heaven and hell itself. Jesus did die on the cross, but he’s not on the cross anymore. He is the all-powerful ruler of heaven and earth. And he says to you, “Do not be afraid!” What a beautiful Savior we have!