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How is Jesus described in Revelation’s?


The Book of Revelation, also known as the Apocalypse of John, provides vivid and powerful descriptions of Jesus Christ. As the final book of the New Testament canon, Revelation details prophetic visions received by John, one of the twelve disciples of Jesus. Through vivid imagery and symbolism, Revelation presents Jesus as a victorious, divine, and powerful figure who will ultimately triumph over evil.

Some key ways Jesus is described in Revelation include:

  • Jesus as the Son of God and Messiah
  • Jesus as a conquering king and ruler
  • Jesus as the beginning and end
  • Jesus as a judge
  • Jesus as a sacrificial lamb
  • Jesus as a divine warrior

Let’s explore each of these descriptions in more detail.

Jesus as the Son of God and Messiah

Revelation establishes Jesus’ divine nature and messianic identity right from its opening lines. In the very first verse, Jesus is described as the revelation of “God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place” (Revelation 1:1). This positions Jesus as subordinate to God the Father, but also establishes his divine authority and role in revealing information about the end times.

Later in chapter 1, John refers to Jesus as “the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth” (Revelation 1:5). The title “firstborn from the dead” affirms Jesus’ resurrection and declares him as the inaugurator of the general resurrection of believers. As the “ruler of the kings of the earth” Jesus has supremacy over all earthly rulers and authority.

In one of Jesus’ first spoken statements in Revelation he declares “I am the First and the Last” (Revelation 1:17), identifying himself with the God of Israel who similarly declares “I am the First and the Last” in the Old Testament (Isaiah 44:6). This affirms Jesus’ co-equality with God and his eternal nature.

Jesus as a conquering king and ruler

A dominant image of Jesus found throughout Revelation is that of a triumphant, conquering king securing victory over his enemies and ruling the nations. He is depicted as the mighty “ruler of the kings of the earth” (Revelation 1:5) and “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Revelation 19:16).

In Revelation 5, Jesus is portrayed as the victorious “Lion of the tribe of Judah” (v. 5) who alone is worthy to open the scroll containing God’s judgments. The scene depicts him as a reigning king and messiah receiving worship from a multitude of angels and living creatures.

Later in Revelation 19, Jesus returns to earth as a warrior king to lead the heavenly armies, strike down the nations, and rule them with an iron scepter (vv. 11-16). The emphasis is on Jesus as an all-conquering monarch securing total victory over his enemies and establishing his eternal kingdom.

Jesus as the beginning and end

Revelation highlights Jesus’ eternality by describing him as the one “who is, and who was, and who is to come” (Revelation 1:8). It underscores that he is eternal, existing beyond the constraints of time and outside the sphere of created reality.

Not only is Jesus the eternal “Alpha”, but he declares himself to be “the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End” (Revelation 22:13). Jesus spans all of history, encompassing both the source and culmination of all things. He stands sovereign over all time, space, and matter as the divine bookends to all reality.

This affirms Christ’s deity and his absolute preeminence over all creation as its originator and completion.

Jesus as a judge

While Jesus often gets depicted as a gentle savior in the Gospels, Revelation highlights his role as a righteous judge carrying out justice.

He is described as the one “who is to judge the living and the dead” (2 Timothy 4:1). His eyes are “like blazing fire” seeing everything clearly (Revelation 1:14). Out of his mouth comes a sharp, two-edged sword of judgment (Revelation 1:16).

Jesus evaluates each of the seven churches in Asia, critiquing and warning them according to their deeds (Revelation 2-3). He is presented as one with eyes of fire and feet of bronze ready to trample down the wicked (Revelation 2:18).

Later, the winepress of God’s wrath is trampled by Jesus (Revelation 19:15) and he rules the nations with a rod of iron, dashing them to pieces like pottery (Revelation 2:27, 12:5). Ultimate judgment belongs to Jesus as “Lord of lords and King of kings” (Revelation 17:14).

Jesus as a sacrificial lamb

Even while Revelation highlights Christ’s authority as king and judge, it also prominently features the sacrificial aspect of his earthly mission. Jesus is portrayed as a slain lamb, emphasizing the meekness and mercy intertwined with his majesty.

Early in Revelation, Jesus is described as the “faithful witness” (Revelation 1:5) who remained obedient even unto death for our salvation. In Revelation 5, he appears as a “Lamb, looking as if it had been slain” (v. 6). His sacrifice made possible victory and the release of God’s judgments on the world.

Followers of the lamb are those who have “washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14). Their salvation comes through Christ’s sacrificial death as the lamb of God. As John the Baptist declared, Jesus is “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).

Jesus as a divine warrior

While Revelation portrays the sacrificial side of Christ, it more frequently features the militaristic divine warrior motif. Jesus appears as a powerful heavenly champion waging war against the wicked and conquering God’s enemies.

He is depicted with a sharp two-edged sword coming out of his mouth to strike down the nations (Revelation 19:15). His robe is dipped in blood as he treads the winepress of the wrath of God (Revelation 19:13). The armies of heaven follow him into battle against the forces of evil, led by the rider on a white horse—Jesus Christ (Revelation 19:11-14).

Earlier in Revelation, Jesus is shown with eyes of fire and feet of bronze, ready to make war and strike down his foes (Revelation 2:18). He wages war with the sword of his mouth and rules the nations with a rod of iron (Revelation 2:27, 12:5 19:15).

This warrior imagery connects back to the messianic prophecies in the Old Testament that depict the coming Christ as a divine champion defeating Israel’s enemies (Psalm 2, Isaiah 42:13, Zechariah 14:3). Jesus fulfills this prophetic expectation as the ultimate divine warrior.


The multifaceted descriptions of Jesus in Revelation present a holistic portrait of his identity and mission. He is the divine Son of God and messianic deliverer, eternal in nature as the Alpha and Omega. He is both sacrificial lamb and conquering king, meek savior and righteous judge. Jesus is supreme over all powers and authorities, worthy of all worship and honor.

As the divine warrior he will gain final victory over evil and establish his eternal kingdom. Jesus will execute perfect justice and create a new heaven and new earth. He will secure the salvation of his people to share in his everlasting reign. The vivid imagery of Revelation captures the majesty and glory of Jesus Christ in his climactic triumph over the powers of darkness.

Key Descriptions of Jesus in Revelation

Description Supporting Verses
Son of God Rev. 2:18
Messiah Rev. 11:15
First and Last Rev. 1:17
Conquering King Rev. 19:16
Beginning and End Rev. 22:13
Judge Rev. 19:11
Lamb of God Rev. 5:6
Divine Warrior Rev. 19:15

This table summarizes some of the key descriptions of Jesus found in Revelation along with supporting verses for each one. It provides a helpful overview of the various Christological themes and titles applied to Jesus throughout the apocalyptic visions of Revelation. When taken together, they present a multi-faceted picture of Jesus in his divinity, humanity, kingship, sacrifice, and ultimate triumph over evil. Revelation employs vivid imagery to capture truths about Jesus’ identity and mission that are found throughout Scripture yet come into sharpest focus in Revelation’s grand depiction of Christ’s second coming in glory.