“And when I [John] saw Him [the Lord Jesus], I fell at His feet as dead” (Revelation 1:17).
The Apostle John had known the Lord Jesus very well, for he was one of the disciples who had been with the Lord during all of His earthly ministry. He was also one of the disciples who was closest to the Lord, and at the last Passover, he was actually “leaning on Jesus’ bosom” (John 13:23). Yet here, when he saw the Lord Jesus, he was so frightened that he “fell at His feet as dead.” Why was this?
When the Lord Jesus was on earth, He looked just like any other man, and people could approach him easily. But here in Revelation, the Lord Jesus is seen as a Judge. As such, He appears with “eyes like a flame of fire,” “feet like unto fine brass,” “His voice as the sound of many waters,” and “His countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength” (Revelation 1:14-16). He appears as One who is to be feared, and even John was afraid.
Yet how beautiful is the Lord’s answer to John! He tells him, “Fear not.” He was the same Jesus that John had known, and His judgment was for unbelievers, not for those like John. Some day you and I will see Jesus in His judgment character too, but we will not have to be afraid.