Un-approachable?

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

The throne room of heaven is a strange mix of being inviting and drawing in while also seeming unapproachable. Many people’s first reaction to reading Revelation 4 is one of horror. The underlying message though is one of approachable glory and splendour.

And instantly I was in the Spirit, and I saw a throne in heaven and someone sitting on it.

Revelation 4:2

The first thing that John sees on entering heaven is the Lord’s throne.

The one sitting on the throne was as brilliant as gemstones—like jasper and carnelian.

Revelation 4:3

The one on the throne is likened to brilliant gemstones. The Lord’s character, represented by the gem stones shines out. This is one overwhelming in love, in joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness. Instead of being forbidding, he draws.

And the glow of an emerald circled his throne like a rainbow.

Around him is a rainbow figure of emerald green representing our covenant relationship with God. It says the way into his presence is clear, paid for by Jesus’ death on the cross.

Twenty-four thrones surrounded him, and twenty-four elders sat on them. They were all clothed in white and had gold crowns on their heads.

Revelation 4:4

It is people who are closest to the Lord. They too are enthroned. They are with him.

I wonder if the horror many feel at this text is because we are used to being on a level with everyone, but here is someone so much greater that there can be no pretence at parity. This is a shock to our western value system.