One Like a Son of Man

Dr. Kevin DeYoung, Senior Pastor

Revelation 1:9-20 | September 10 - Sunday Morning,

Sunday Morning,
September 10
One Like a Son of Man | Revelation 1:9-20
Dr. Kevin DeYoung, Senior Pastor

Father in heaven, our prayer is simple – help us in our lives to make much of Jesus and so help us now to see Jesus. As the song says, in the morning when I rise, give me Jesus. When I come to die, give me Jesus. That is our prayer, gracious God. They can have all this world, give us Jesus. Open our eyes to see and our ears to hear. In His name we pray. Amen.

It was over 15 years ago now I read a book with a particularly provocative title: Why Men Hate Going to Church. Some of you are trying circumspectly to what was that again? Why Men Hate Going to Church by David Murrow. Fascinating book. Need to add some caveats – I don’t agree with all of it, he goes too far in some places, the book is better at its disciples than at its prescription and some of his diagnosis is more apt for a mainline church rather than a PCA church that’s led by male elders and pastors and deacons.

But I remember one experiment that Murrow talks about in the book. Murrow says, “Which set of values best characterizes Jesus Christ and His true followers?” Then he gives two sets of answers. He says, “The left set,” or as your looking, “The left set has 14 words and phrases – competence, power, efficiency, achievement, skill, proving oneself, results, accomplishments, objects, technology, goal-oriented, self-sufficiency, success, competition.” That’s one set.

The right set has another 14 words – love, communication, beauty, relationship, support, help, nurturing, feelings, sharing, relating, harmony, community, loving cooperation, personal expression. Murrow says, “Over the years I have shown this chart to hundreds of people, men and women, Christians and non-Christians. More than 95% of the time, people choose the right set,” that is, the one on the right, that’s the love, beauty, relationships, help, nurturing, feelings,” more than 95% of the time people choose the right set as the best representation of true Christian values,” and he says, “you probably did, too.” So if you could see them all written down, which one best describes Jesus Christ and His followers.

Then he says, “I culled these two lists from chapter 1 of the best-selling book Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. The left set are typically male characteristics, of course that book has its own strengths and weaknesses, and some stereotypes, but typical male characteristics, competition, success, achievements, efficiency, objects, accomplishment, whereas the other set are typical female characteristics, feeling, nurturing, beauty, relationships, communication, support, etc.

Murrow’s point is that we tend to think of Jesus and following Jesus as aligning with feminine virtues.

Now again, I think Murrow overstates his case and most of the things on that right set of supposedly feminine virtues I want to claim as Christian virtues. But many things on the first set can also be Christian virtues.

I bring up his experiment not because this is a sermon about male and female so much as it is to remind us that it’s very possible to have a one-dimensional Christ, a cartoonish God with very simple, artistic impression to land on us, of a cartoonish, meaning is very simple in its attributes in one direction or another. And even if the case may be overstated in Murrow’s book, it is a good thought experiment for us to ask. Is your Jesus, as you conceive of Him, all so-called hard virtues or is He nothing but soft virtues? Do you see Christ in His humanity and His divinity both? Can you understand Christ in His suffering, in His glory, in His state of humiliation and His state of exultation? Are you more embarrassed to think about Jesus as having forgiveness and gentleness toward His enemies, or the Christ who at the end of the age will judge and pour out His wrath upon the wicked? Which embarrasses you more?

Maybe some of you have forgotten that Jesus is a good shepherd and He’s gentle and lowly, and maybe others have, to use C.S. Lewis’ famous phrase, turned Him into a very tame lion.

There are at least three extended visions of Christ in Revelation. Now there’s lots that Revelation’s going to show us. It is, after all, the Revelation of Jesus Christ, but three extended visions.

In chapter 19, He is depicted as a warrior king, a conquering military hero. In chapter 5, He is depicted as a slaughtered lamb. So you say, “Which is it? Is He the one that does the slaughtering or is He the one who was slaughtered?” Well, in a way, both are certainly true.

Here in chapter 1 we see him as an exalted, divine, priestly Jesus. If we are to understand Christ correctly, we must understand him has having Jonathan Edwards called diverse excellencies. It’s one of the reasons why any television or movie depiction of Jesus is over time bound to lead your affections astray, because what you can show in a television show or in a movie, you can show Christ as very relational, very caring, very gentle, very lowly, you can show Him as maybe even something of a charisma. What you cannot depict is this exalted Christ and His transcendence and in His glory, and the Jesus that’s depicted to us in the Bible is both. Not a cartoonish Jesus, not one just soft virtues or one just hard virtues, but this Christ that we see, as we hear in Revelation chapter 1, is a Christ of transcendent power and glory.

Follow along as I read Revelation 1, beginning at verse 9.

” I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet saying, “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.””

“Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, His feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and His voice was like the roar of many waters. In His right hand He held seven stars, from His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and His face was like the sun shining in full strength.”

“When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as though dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this. As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.”

You see three paragraphs in the ESV. The first paragraph is what John heard, the second paragraph is what he saw, and the third paragraph tells us what he did. That will be our simple outline.

So first, what he heard. John is on the island of Patmos. He is, tradition tells us, in exile there, he says because of the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus, so it seems that rather than being put to death he has been banished to this island. Because of the proclamation, because of bearing witness to Christ, this old man shipped off to a small island in the Aegean Sea about 45 miles west of Asia Minor.

He says that he is in the spirit, in the spirit on the Lord’s day. Here’s this first reference. Well, there’s on in Acts. Here’s a reference to the Lord’s day as Sunday, the day for worshiping the risen Christ as the holy day for God’s people moved from strictly the Sabbath as the day of rest on the seventh day of the week to the Sabbath plus one, that is the eighth day of the week as it were, the first day of the new week because it’s the day on which Christ rose from the dead. The Lord’s day, Sunday, so we worship on Sunday.

He’s in the spirit. So without risking here putting it in too much of a spatial term, it’s almost like he’s put up in a blimp, or he’s given a drone shot to see what’s overhead and to have a kind of God’s eye view of things. That’s what he’s going to share with us. He’s in the spirit, he’s taken up as it were, into the heavenlies and he’s going to see the world as God sees it. This invisible battle that’s taking place, this Revelation of Christ and His glory. John has the unique opportunity to hear it and to see it and he passes it on to us.

Notice John describes himself as a brother and a companion in three things, a partner, verse 9, in three things. One, he says he’s a partner or a companion with Christians of the seven churches in suffering, or tribulation, that is to say his faith has cost him something. Anyone who desires to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, Paul told Timothy. The persecution may look different, it may be hard, obvious persecution, it may be the soft persecution of names. It may mean things that happen or don’t happen to you, but if you desire, even in Charlotte, North Carolina in 2023, to live a godly life in Christ Jesus, no matter how good your family, how much you’re surrounded by Christians, if you live in this fallen world, intent on following Christ in all things, some people will not like you for it and they will make your life difficult for it. John says I’m a companion in the tribulation, the suffering.

Second, in the kingdom. So it’s not just that he suffers. The story of the Christian life is not just doom and gloom, it is the story ultimately of victory of this kingdom and this king that we are going to meet throughout these pages who has dealt the death blow and is returning again to be the conquering hero.

Then third, he says a partner in the kingdom and the patient endurance. As Christians, I’m happy to tell you we must be long-distance runners. Yes. Long-distance runners who can go with long suffering and patience, endure difficulties, trials. Jesus said, “in the world you will have trouble, take heart, I have overcome the world.”

Tribulation, kingdom, patient endurance. Does that mark your life as a Christian? It did for John, His beloved disciple. The Christian life ought to be marked by those three things as you follow Jesus. You’re going to have troubles, suffering, tribulation, but you follow a king and there’s a glorious kingdom, and you have to endure it patiently.

So he’s told to write what he sees in a book, verse 11, and then send it around to these seven churches. They’re given in geographic order, forming a circle – Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, finally Laodicea. At the end of the chapter, verse 19, this is what he is to write – the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this – so there are elements that are, that are happening, and there are elements that are to take place after this. There is present and there’s future, from John’s perspective, in this book, and that’s helpful to remember, that there are elements here which are future, future for us, and there are many elements that were present for John and our present at every age.

So that’s the first paragraph, what he heard.

More detail on the second paragraph. What he saw. So he hears a voice like a trumpet, he turns around and what he sees, this is important, he sees a symbolic vision of the resurrected glorified Christ. Notice he doesn’t sketch out for us the sort of details that might enable us to hang up on a post office wall or the back of a milk carton, “Jesus of Nazareth. Have you seen him?” He’s 5 foot this, his hair is like this, he’s got, does he have a moustache? Does he have a beard? Is he tall and skinny? Is he squat and short? Is he heavyset? Is he olive complexion? What is he wearing?

He doesn’t give us that kind of here’s how you can pick him out of a crowd. In fact, there’s nothing like that in the gospel. We don’t know. We can imagine, though we should be careful with the imagination. We can, I should say, think about what a typical first century Jew might have looked like and imagine that Jesus didn’t likely look like a 6 foot 3 Dutchman, but John has no interest and God has no interest in showing to us what Jesus looked like in His human body, as important as that was.

What we have here is a picture of Christ in His glorified state. In fact, if you try to draw this, sketch this out, you would end up with a figure that’s comical bordering on grotesque. Okay? He’s got white hair, thumbs up for that one. But then He’s got a robe and a sash and He’s got flames of fire and bronze and a sword coming out of His mouth, so it’s not meant, it’s not a puzzle that you’re meant to put together and you hang it up on the wall and you go that’s Jesus. It is a constellation of images that are supposed to land on us with a certain effect, a poetic image.

So what we see is what we hear. Notice passed down to us is not a painting that John saw. The Spirit didn’t give him this and say, “Now, John, I want you to pass down for all time, I want you to be a chalk artist, I want you to get this and you’re going to pass it on so we can all see it.”

What we see, rather, is what we hear, a description of His clothes, His head, His hair, His eyes, His feet, His voice, His right hand, His mouth, and His face. He’s standing there, verse 20 tells us, among the lampstands. We know from verse 20 the seven lampstands are the seven churches. The seven stars in His right hand are seven angels. Some people think that the angels are the pastors of the churches. It’s not a matter of orthodoxy or heresy how you determine this, but I think a good case can be made. Many of the Puritans argued this point, that the angels are the pastors of these churches. You say, well, Pastor, that’s convenient, senior angel, but angel is the same word for messenger, malak in Hebrew, __, messengers, or angels in Greek, malaki, my messenger, malak. You don’t translate it as “my angel,” but the words just mean the same thing. The fact that the angels here are given some critical remarks for these churches whereas angels as immaterial spiritual beings always do God’s bidding, the fact that there’s an angel that preaches the Gospel here in Revelation led many people to think, and with some good reason, that the angels are another word for these earthly preachers, these pastors, we might say, of these seven churches.

More importantly, however, is the imagery about Jesus standing among the churches. So think about it. The church as Jesus stands there among the lampstands, and we saw last week that the seven spirits, the Holy Spirit is the sevenfold spirit burning in the lampstands of the churches. So the church is both the place where the Holy Spirit is burning, is working, aflame, and also where Jesus stands among us. We are meant to be a light set out in the open to illumine the darkness. The Spirit not only infuses and inflames the church, but Jesus Himself tends to the wicks among the flames. So the church is the place where the Spirit burns and the place where Jesus stands among us.

Notice Jesus is acting the part here, described to us as a high priest. The long robe, the golden sash, are priestly garments, Exodus 28 and 29. And, if you recall from Leviticus, the priests were responsible for trimming the wicks and filling the oil of the seven candles in the tabernacle. That’s why Jesus is the high priest. Makes sense. He’s standing among the seven lampstands, because it’s the responsibility of the priest to tend to the lampstands.

So this is meant to be on the one hand a warning for a church like Ephesus, where Jesus says if you don’t return to your first love, I’m going to snuff out this wick, this flame, which is dwindling. That will be My punishment upon you.

So there’s a warning as Jesus walks among us, but also a comfort. With all the trials that we have, with the difficulties, it’s not difficult to write books about how bad the Church is, about all the things the Church has done wrong, memoirs about all the ways that the Church has been hurtful, and every single one of us, if we’ve been a church for very long and there are people there, have had opportunities to be disappointed, to be hurt, so it happens.

Yet the Church, uniquely among all the institutions of the world, is the place that Jesus, where Jesus dwells, tending to us. He cares. No one cares about this church more than Jesus Christ, and He stands among us with this lampstand that is Christ Covenant Church, to trim the wicks, to fill up the oil, to see that we might be burning brightly for him.

The priests tended to the lampstand just as Jesus now stands among the lampstands, oversees them, that they maintain their light.

So one of the images here is that Christ is the high priest who’s doing the work of the priestly class to maintain the light and the witness of these churches. The other image is that Jesus is one like a Son of Man. You see that in verse 13, one like a Son of Man. Sometimes we refer to Christ as Son of God and then other depictions call Him Son of Man, and both of those are true, but we tend to think Son of God, ah, that’s His divinity, and when it calls Him a Son of Man, that’s His humanity.

Well, it’s true in a theological sense. You can use the phrases that way, and yet biblically there is almost no clearer title of His divinity than this phrase “Son of Man.” Keep your finger here and turn back to Daniel chapter 7.

Maybe you’ve seen this before. If not, you need to see it for the first time because it is such a central, prophetic allusion in the whole New Testament, and especially in Revelation. This one like a Son of Man comes from Daniel’s vision in Daniel chapter 7. You see before verse 13, Daniel chapter 7, after Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, before Hosea and all the minor prophets you have Daniel.

Verse 13: “I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man.” So that’s the exact expression that John uses, one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; the dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.”

So in Daniel’s vision, he sees one like a Son of Man who is approaching the Ancient of Days. The Son of Man is a divine figure who’s given this eternal kingdom. He’s given worship and nations and tribes. So the one like a Son of Man in Revelation is an obvious allusion to this exalted figure from Daniel.

But wait, there’s more. Because if you look up, still in Daniel, look at the description of the Ancient of Days. So there are two divine persons revealed in Daniel.

Chapter 7, verse 9: “As I looked, thrones were placed and the Ancient of Days took his seat; his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames, its wheels were burning fire. A stream of fire issued and came out from before him; a thousand thousands served him, ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the court sat in judgment and the books were opened.”

Now doesn’t that sound exactly like the description that’s given of Christ in Revelation 1? So on the one hand He is referred to, “I saw one like a Son of Man,” that’s Daniel 7:13 and 14, but the description that’s given of Jesus is almost the exact description given of the Ancient of Days in Daniel 7:9 through 10.

In Daniel we have, in other words, this incredibly rich, trinitarian imagery. You might say technically it’s not trinitarian as it’s two persons rather than three, but it’s the beginning. It’s showing here even in the Old Testament that if you said, well, is the Ancient of Days God? You’re reading Daniel, clearly that’s God. Well, then there’s one like a Son of Man who comes to him. Is he God? Yeah, clearly He’s God. Is the Ancient of Days and the one like the Son of Man in Daniel the same person? Well, not exactly, but is there more than one God? Well, of course not. Well, you are well on your way to something like the doctrine of the trinity.

So you come now to Revelation as Christ is seen as the exalted, divine figure, He’s described with all of the attributes of the Ancient of Days, yet He’s called one like a Son of Man. This is clearly from Daniel’s vision, this glorified Christ who is given to us with all of the attributes of deity. In fact, every element of the description of Jesus in Revelation 1 comes from description of God or the Messiah, because the Messiah is God, from the Old Testament. The Son of Man is from Daniel 7, the robe and the sash are from Exodus 28, the white hair from Daniel 7, the eyes like fire, feet like burnished bronze, shining face, they’re from Daniel 7 and Daniel 10, the voice like many waters from Ezekiel 43 where the glory of the Lord returns to the temple, the sharp sword as the Word of God to strike down the ungodly comes from Isaiah 49.

He’s heaping up for us these prophetic images, which were meant to not be sketched out as a literal drawing but as they landed on the eyes of John and so land on our ears, to impress us with an explosion of revelation. This is God of gods, king of kings, Lord of lords. This one who John knew, John leaned his head upon Him at the last supper. This one who called down from the cross to take care of His mother, this one that He saw helping fishing in the boat, this very Jesus, he now has a revelation – this is God. The God of the Old Testament, all that the Ancient of Days as we have here in Christ. His convicting gaze pierces, His words cut, His face shines, His beauty dazzles like the sun.

So we come to the third paragraph, what John did. Is it any wonder then, John having glimpsed upon this exalted, glorified Christ, that John did not run up to hug Him? To shake His hand? To fist bump Him? To give Him a church-approved side hug? He fell at His feet as though dead.

This is not the only place in the Bible this sort of thing happens. Daniel chapter 10, he falls on his face to the ground when he hears the voice of the Lord. Or in 1 Kings chapter 19, Elijah hears the Lord and he turns and he falls on his face. Or Saul on the road to Damascus with the blinding light, falls to the ground. Or Judges chapter 13 Samson’s parents, they look, the angel of the Lord, it says they fall as though dead. Or the select group of disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration as Christ is shown in His revealed glory, they fall on their face.

Over and over, Old Testament, New Testament. When someone has the curtain pulled back just a little bit, to see what God is really like, to see Jesus unveiled in His glory, the response, “I’m a dead man,” to fall on his face. Could it be that most of us, frankly all of us, have made Christ into our own cultural image, thoughtful, tolerant, relational, nice, smiling, laughing. Could it be that we have made His touch to be only soft and velvety and never heavy?

Sometimes people say, well, you know, when I get to heaven, I’m going to have a thing or two to say to God.

Will you really? Or will you fall on your face as though dead? We use these sort of euphemisms, the big guy upstairs.

And remember who’s writing this vision. It’s John, the disciple whom Jesus loved. He walked with Jesus. He ate with Jesus. Slept in the same room or under the same stars with Jesus. He talked to Him for three years, was among the same smelly fish with Jesus. John knew His voice, but he hadn’t heard this voice, the roar of many waters. John knows in an instant all that I saw of this Jesus, all that I knew of Him, I need to now add this revelation to my picture because this is the voice of a Jesus I didn’t know until now. He falls down as though dead.

Jonathan Edwards, who was given two powerful experiences with God, wrote of this view he had in 1737 of the glory of the Son of God. He writes, “it was as mediator between God and man and his wonderful, grateful, pure, sweet grace and love and meek and gentle condescension the person of Christ appeared ineffably excellent with an excellency great enough to swallow up all thought and conception which kept me the greater part of the time in a flood of tears, weeping aloud. I felt an ardency of soul to be emptied and annihilated, to be in the dust, to be full of Christ alone, to love Him with a holy and pure love, to trust Him, to live upon Him, to serve and follow Him and to be perfectly sanctified and made pure with a divine and heavenly purity.”

Now I know that’s Jonathan Edwards and not many people will feel liked Edwards or write like Edwards, and yet who talks like this today? Who feels like this in the Church today? Who has communed with Christ like this, to feel an ardency of soul to be emptied and to lie in the dust before Christ? Who trembles before Jesus Christ? Not many people. We have a tiny Christ who is there to help us do two things mainly – feel good and be good, but not be good in a way that’s going to upset my life, just stay out of the big sins. That’s what Jesus is – help me feel good, help me cope with life’s problems, help me be a better person. There is not a Christ who evokes this ardency of soul, a Christ as Edwards experienced with divine and heavenly purity. It’s only when we see a Christ as one like a Son of Man with eyes like flames and a voice like many waters and a mouth with a sword and a face like the sun.

Can you connect the dots? It’s only when you have that Christ that you can say what John said at the very beginning, that I am a partner with you in the suffering and in the kingdom and in the patient endurance that are ours in Jesus. You see that in verse 9? In Jesus.

Well, which Jesus? Buddy Jesus, pal Jesus, good feelings Jesus… No, this exalted Jesus. Only when you have that Christ can you be patient.

Do you understand why it is a grievous sin, it’s a violation of the third commandment, it’s a grievous sin, when any would use the name of the Lord Jesus in vain, to say as an expletive the name of Christ, to __ it as we hear it from others. It is not a light offense to put and pass between your lips the name of this exalted Ancient of Days and Son of Man, to speak of Him flippantly. How could we?

See, we want comfort. Right. We want a Jesus who cares and who listens. Right. But we’re tempted then to shrink Him down and make Him manageable, make Him a lot like us, make Him just one who’s just a rub your back, listen, look you in the eye, say I’m sorry, have some active listening. We need a Jesus who’s strong and radiant and mighty to save. That is our comfort.

It’s John’s vision of the glorified Christ that makes the words of Christ so reassuring. If your buddy, your pal, said, “Hey, get up, come here.” You expect that. But when one like a Son of Man with a voice of rushing waters and you fall down at His feet as though dead, when than man says to you, “Fear not, get up, don’t be afraid.” See, there’s something about falling on your face toward Jesus or away from Jesus. There’s that fear that runs away, “I want nothing to do with this Christ,” and then there’s the fear that goes down to his feet. That’s the fear of the Lord that is the beginning of wisdom.

So Jesus says, “Don’t be afraid. Get up.”

Notice, in fact, these words of comfort from our royal redeemer. He says, “Do not be afraid.” It’s worth mentioning in Daniel 10 and in Matthew 17 those passages where they fall on their face as though dead, in both of those God says, “Do not be afraid, Daniel.” Jesus in Matthew 17 came and touched them, “get up, do not be afraid.”

So you fall on your face not because God is terrifying to us, true in a way, but because God is terrifying and He’s on our side. It’s as if Jesus is saying, “Do not be afraid. You don’t have to be afraid of Me, and because I am great and glorious, you do not have to be afraid of those who hate you, of those who reject Me. You don’t have to be afraid of your hostile family. You don’t have to be afraid of the devil. You don’t have to be afraid of those who can harm you and make your life difficult. Do not be dismayed.” He says, “I am the first and the last. That is, I see all things, I know all things, I direct all things.” He says, “I am the living One.”

God is not the bad guy in your life. The devil wants you to believe that God is making your life miserable, it’s God’s laws, it’s God’s commands, it’s God’s ways, it’s having to worship Him, submit to Him. The devil is the destroyer, the devil wants you to believe. And Jesus says, “I’m the living One. In Me and in My ways are life, even in the midst of suffering, if you will but trust Me.” He says, “I was dead and behold I am alive forevermore.”

If Jesus was stone cold dead, really dead, and yet He lives, what is too difficult for a God like this? Why would you give up on your marriage then? Why would you cave in to the culture or act just like the world, thinking they hold the keys? They don’t. Why would you be so prone to constant worry? Why would you nurture bitterness towards your neighbor? Why would you live as if there is no hope when you follow a Savior who died and behold is alive forevermore?

He says, finally, “I hold the keys of death and Hades.” He means death will not hold you. I have the key. Only I can put you into the death that never ends, only I can put you to the second death, the lake of eternal fire, because I have the keys. I have the key to lock you in and I certainly have the key to set you free.

Someday when you and I flat line it will not be the end of our story. For all those who follow Jesus, the main goal in your life and my life is not to live. If that’s your main goal, to live, you’ll fail. Your life will end with a failure. But if you realize our goal is something else, namely as this book will tell us to be an overcomer, to have the victory through suffering with Christ, then you will, even at death, especially at death, you will have the victory. From this Jesus, kind, compassionate, gentle and lowly, all of those things, yes and amen, but definitely not a tame lion.

This God on the mountain. See, it’s one thing, the ancients had gods who were up in the sky or on the mountain and they were scary and they were petulant and they were capricious and they were vindictive, it’s one thing to have those gods. Or our gods aren’t like that, our gods are just help you feel good and be an active listener and help you get your life in order and weep with those who weep and give you a hug, but what if the God on the mountain came down? That great God, He came down to be with you, to be one of us, to die for sinners like us, and now to stand by our side and with Him to die, with Him to live, with Him to conquer, with Him to reign. Our strong, our great, our glorious Savior.

In His name pray. Dear Lord, we come now in Your name, asking that You would give to us in the name of Jesus an ear-filled vision of these things, that we might behold our God and stand amazed. In Jesus we pray. Amen.