He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords..Revelation 19:13-16
The Day of the LORD. Who will be able to stand before the LORD on that Day? That Great and Dreadful Day. The Day when all the nations of the earth will mourn and all the kings of the earth will seek to hide themselves from the wrath of the Lamb.
The DAY of the LORD is the Day of of God’s great glory and awesome power – the Day of reckoning and recompense. The Day of God’s vengeance and righteous indignation toward the wicked multitudes who dwell on the earth, and His judgment over the spiritual forces of darkness at work in this world.
This is the Day of the Return of King Jesus! This is the Day God Triumphs victoriously over all His enemies. Our God is a Warrior (Exodus 15) and He is coming in Holy Splendor to be glorified before the whole earth. Marching victoriously as He strikes down the nations with a rod of iron and leads the armies of heaven in all its power. The LORD will lead His royal procession, as the heavenly hosts and all the saints march under the banner of King Jesus.
The DAY of the LORD is when our Great God and Savior Jesus Christ will stand on the Mt. of Olives, overlooking the Valley of Decision, and He will wage war on the gathered nations. He will enter Jerusalem through the eastern gate, and He will take His rightful place in the sanctuary and take his seat on the throne of David in Zion — His Holy Mountain. There He will forever reign as King of kings and Lord of lords. Shining forth in all His Shekinah Glory.
The imagery is so pronounced and ingrained within all the passages depicting this Extraordinary Day. And the gravity of the reality of this coming DAY should cause every soul to shudder and every sinner to repent. The intensity of this Day is unfathomable. The dread of this Day is unthinkable. The certainty … unstoppable.
As I begin to personally unpack this imagery and attempt to harmonize these events, I pray that God will give me a comprehensive perspective of that Great Day so that we may glorify Him all the more!
Today, I will only consider one prominent motif within the Day of the LORD imagery. The Robe of King Jesus dipped in blood.
Robe Dipped in Blood
In Revelation 19, Jesus gives the Apostle John a vivid picture of the return of Jesus on that Day. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood. But from where does this blood come?
Some immediately assume that this imagery automatically corresponds to Jesus’ own blood, as the Lamb who was slain from the foundation of the world. But I would propose a different interpretation based on the Old Testament passages that correspond to the Day of the LORD.
Consider the prophet Isaiah’s depiction of the very same event.
“Who is this who comes from Edom,Isaiah 63:1-4
in crimsoned garments from Bozrah,
he who is splendid in his apparel,
marching in the greatness of his strength?
“It is I, speaking in righteousness,
mighty to save.”Why is your apparel red,
and your garments like his who treads in the winepress? “I have trodden the winepress alone,
and from the peoples no one was with me;
I trod them in my anger
and trampled them in my wrath;
their lifeblood spattered on my garments,
and stained all my apparel. For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and my year of redemption had come.”
The imagery of that Day consistently describes God’s wrath being vented toward the enemies of Israel, and these enemies are always depicted as literal nations that surround Israel and the Holy Land. Here in Isaiah 63, the prophet tells us clearly that the LORD is coming with a robe dipped in blood, but not His own blood — it is the blood of the enemies of God – more specifically here the nation of Edom [modern-day Jordan and northwestern Saudi Arabia].
One of the most important interpretive disciplines in these passages is to always compare and contrast the historical context and overlay it with the greater Biblical narrative. Therefore we must understand Jesus coming literally, physically in the clouds but no less powerfully to earth, riding a white horse, wielding His sword, and marching victoriously toward His Holy mountain. At the very same time, we see the LORD marching through these surrounding enemy nations, striking them down one by one. I plan to develop this motif of the surrounding nations in the near future.
Consider two more parallel passages.
“So the angel swung his sickle across the earth and gathered the grape harvest of the earth and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood flowed from the winepress, as high as a horse’s bridle, for 1,600 stadia.”Revelation 14:19-20
“Hasten and come,Joel 3:11-14
all you surrounding nations,
and gather yourselves there.
Bring down your warriors, O LORD.
Let the nations stir themselves up
and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat;
for there I will sit to judge
all the surrounding nations.
Put in the sickle,
for the harvest is ripe.
Go in, tread,
for the winepress is full.
The vats overflow,
for their evil is great.
in the valley of decision!
For the day of the LORD is near
in the valley of decision.”
I dare say few Sunday preachers are bringing attention to this Day. Few sermons focus on Jesus’ blood-stained robe, and even fewer acknowledge that this is the blood of God’s enemies, the surrounding nations who will gather to be judged on that DAY — for their evil is great.
“For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?” (Revelation 6:17)