Revelation 19:13

Sunday, 11 July 2021

He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. Revelation 19:13

The marvelous depiction of Christ at His second coming continues to be described by John. The verse begins with, “He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood.”

Of these words, there are two general thoughts on the meaning. The first is that it is referring to His crucifixion and the blood of that act. The second thought is that it is referring to the blood of His enemies. Based on the immediate context, that of judging and making war, it is probable that the second option is being referred to. In this, it fulfills the shocking Old Testament symbolism given by Isaiah –

“Who is this who comes from Edom,
With dyed garments from Bozrah,
This One who is glorious in His apparel,
Traveling in the greatness of His strength?—

‘I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.’
Why is Your apparel red,
And Your garments like one who treads in the winepress?
‘I have trodden the winepress alone,
And from the peoples no one was with Me.
For I have trodden them in My anger,
And trampled them in My fury;
Their blood is sprinkled upon My garments,
And I have stained all My robes.
For the day of vengeance is in My heart,
And the year of My redeemed has come.
I looked, but there was no one to help,
And I wondered
That there was no one to uphold;
Therefore My own arm brought salvation for Me;
And My own fury, it sustained Me.
I have trodden down the peoples in My anger,
Made them drunk in My fury,
And brought down their strength to the earth.’” Isaiah 63:1-6

Isaiah’s prophecy refers to the Lord’s judgment in salvation. It is to be remembered that the focus of Revelation 4:2–19:10 has been the tribulation period, leading up to the Second Coming. It is during this time that the final seven years of Daniel’s prophecy of “seventy sevens” takes place. Thus, the focus of attention is on the nation of Israel.

Jesus is returning to them in order to set up His millennial kingdom. As such, Isaiah’s prophecy will be fulfilled. Israel has called on their Lord and He is responding – destroying her enemies and working salvation on their behalf. The symbolic nature of His garments being stained in the enemy’s blood demonstrates that He has acted in order to rescue them.

The second clause of the verse next says, “and His name is called The Word of God.” This is the only time that this full expression of His name is given. Hebrews 4:12 uses the same wording, but that is referring to Scripture rather than Christ the Person.

Elsewhere, He is simply called “the Word” (John 1:1-14), or “the Word of life” (1 John 1:1). The writings of John have developed a picture of the nature and characteristics of Christ. This name, the Word of God, is not the same as that referenced in the previous verse where it said, “He had a name written that no one knew except Himself.” Rather, this is an explanation of that, just as the name provided in verse 19:16 will be an explanation of it.

One can explain something in part without knowing the fullness of what is being explained, and this is the idea here. The Word of God reveals to us a partial view of who Christ Jesus is. We can know that through the Word God made all things (John 1:2, Colossians 1:16). We can know that by the power of the Word all things are held together (Colossians 1:17, Hebrews 1:3), and so on.

However, these explanations do not exhaust all of who He is because God is infinite. Because John has used the name “the Word of God” here, we are informed that everything about God is associated with who Christ Jesus is. The thing to be focused on is not so much the totality of what the name signifies, but why is the name stated here?

The answer is probably because God, who is revealed in the Old Testament Scriptures – and whose very nature states that He cannot lie – is expressing Himself through the Person of Jesus Christ to His people who had missed the significance of who He is in His first advent. The same Jesus who was crucified (and thus whose garments were at that time dipped in blood) is the same Jesus who is faithfully returning to defend those who rejected Him, once again dipping His garments in blood to demonstrate who He is – the fulfillment of the prophecies in their own Scriptures.

As He is the Word of God, He is their God because they were the stewards of the word of God, meaning Scripture. It is Scripture that presented Him. It is by Scripture that He is revealed. It is Scripture that prophesied of His coming. And it is Scripture which prophesies of His second coming. He is the Word of God.

Life application: The concept of Jesus returning to Israel permeates the Old Testament writings, and it is the fulfillment of Jesus’ own words, meaning that He will return when they call out to Him –

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing! 35 See! Your house is left to you desolate; and assuredly, I say to you, you shall not see Me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’” Luke 13:34, 35

In having said this, He is Faithful and True to fulfill His promise. His robe will be dipped in the blood of His enemies when He comes to save His people because He is the Word of God.

The word which God speaks is revealed in and fulfilled by the Person of Jesus Christ. From the first sentence of the Bible, right to the last, Jesus Christ is the Word of God. He is the Creator, Redeemer, Savior, and Deliverer. He is our All in all.

As you read the Bible, the most relevant question you can ask is, “How does this point to Jesus?” Every book, every chapter, and every verse is written in order to show us God’s plan of redemption in human history, and all of it can only be properly understood when viewed through the lens of God in Christ. He is the Word of God. He is JESUS.

Oh, God! How precious it is to read Your word and to discover Jesus everywhere we look. You have presented Your great love for us by sending Him to show us who You are and what You are like. And then You have given us your word to reveal Him to us! What a wonderful, magnificent story of love and hope. Hallelujah and Amen.