1:12–20 Christ appears in overwhelming glory (cf. 21:22–24). “Like a son of man” alludes to Dan. 7:13. The features of vv. 12–16 are reminiscent of Dan. 7:9, 10; 10:5, 6; and Ezek. 1:25–28, but include more distant similarities to many Old Testament appearances of God. The vision shows Christ as Judge and Ruler—first of all over the churches (1:20–3:22), but also over the whole universe (2:27; 3:21). His deity, authority, and conquest of death guarantee final victory (vv. 17, 18; 17:14; 19:11–16). This vision of God’s sovereignty exercised through Christ is a fundamental point of the message of Revelation (Introduction: Interpretive Difficulties). Christ’s war-like appearance (v. 16) anticipates His role in the final battle (19:11–21) and looks backward to God’s battles in the Old Testament (Ex. 15:3; Deut. 32:41, 42; Is. 59:17, 18; Zech. 14:3). Christ presents the pattern in which the destiny of the whole universe is summed up (Eph. 1:10; Col. 1:16, 17). Because all things hold together in Christ (Col. 1:17), the trinitarian imagery of vv. 12–20 and chs. 4; 5 forms a foundation for the whole of Revelation. Because the Trinity is deeply mysterious, the imagery of Revelation has inexhaustible profundity.
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