Large Print

In Living Color

The one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. Revelation 4:3

When Xavier McCoury put on the glasses Aunt Celena sent for his tenth birthday, he burst into tears. Born colorblind, Xavier had only ever seen the world in shades of gray, white, and black. With his new EnChroma glasses, however, Xavier saw color for the first time. His euphoria at witnessing the beauty around him made his family feel like they’d beheld a miracle.

Witnessing God’s colorfully radiant brilliance also evoked a powerful reaction in the apostle John (Revelation 1:17). After encountering the full glory of the resurrected Christ, John glimpsed “a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne. . . . From the throne came flashes of lightning” (Revelation 4:2–5).

In a different time, Ezekiel had a similar vision, seeing “what looked like a throne of lapis lazuli,” with a figure above the throne who “looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire” (Ezekiel 1:26–27). This magnificent figure was surrounded with rainbow-like radiance (v. 28).

One day we will meet Christ face-to-face. These visions give us just a hint of the magnificence that awaits us. As we celebrate the beauty of God’s creation here and now, may we live in anticipation of the glory yet to be revealed.

What response does the color and beauty of creation evoke in you? How can you express your gratitude to God for His wonderful gift?

Father, words fail us when we try to imagine what we will experience when we meet You face-to-face. Thank You for the small hints of Your beauty You have placed in our world.


Revelation 4:1–6 is a picturesque read with its vivid description of Christ and the throne room of heaven. Ruby, jasper, a brilliant rainbow, white robes, gold crowns, and a crystal sea all paint a colorful picture. In addition, the author adds the auditory element of rumblings and peals of thunder that come from the throne, along with flashes of lightning. While this imagery enthralls the imagination, we shouldn’t miss the incongruous nature of the picture being presented. On the one side there’s the regal beauty of Christ on the throne, a rainbow, and a glass-like sea. On the other, there’s the power and destruction represented by lightning and thunder. Taken together, the picture of God is one of power and beauty combined.

J. R. Hudberg

By |2019-07-11T16:23:23-04:00July 14th, 2019|
Go to Top