‘He was frozen in fear.’ This is apt description of someone who has come up against something so terrible that it appears as if he was dead. They can not speak, they can not move and they can not respond. It happens to the middle school boy when his crush speaks to him. It happens to the man caught in a cage with a lion. It happens to people who are caught in a situation that gives them the belief that they are about to die. In our passage this week we see that it happens to John as he sees Jesus coming in glory.
There is a reason why people freeze as if dead in the presence of what they fear. There is something about being in the presence of what you fear that causes you to realize why you must fear. There are many things that we are afraid of in this life. We may fear a confrontation with our boss. We may fear persecution. We may fear death. However, we see in this passage that there is someone who we should fear above all else. This person is the Lord Jesus Christ. If you ask the average person they would say Jesus is not someone to be feared, they may think of him as the baby laying in a manger. However, John’s response in this passage shows us what it means to come face to face with the risen Lord.
The Lord is to be feared and he is to be feared above all else. This is actually encouraging to us because the person and thing we should most fear is actually for our good. Therefore a true fear of the Lord melts away all our other inferior fears. It is a fear that coexist with trust and love. We do not have to fear the things of this world because we know our Lord and we know that he is for us and not against us. John has come in to contact with the risen Lord and lived because he knows him to be “the first and the last and the living one.” So too will we live with our Lord because we have confessed with our lips and our hearts that he is Lord and savior. Therefore do not be frozen with fear about the things of this world, but turn to the Lord in trust and godly fear knowing that he is for your good and is forming you to be more like him.
Scripture: Revelation 1:9-20
Sermon: Jesus, Judge Almighty