This image draws from many different NT descriptions of Christ’s return, however it most closely draws from 2 Thess.1:7-10. In that passage Christ’s presence is the joy of His saints (10) and the horror of His enemies (8-9). I depicted this in the picture by having the saints (redeemed humanity represented by a man and a woman / Adam and Eve) radiant with the glory of Christ while the enemies of God are consumed in fire kindled by the glory of His face (v. 9 literally says “they will suffer punishment from the face of the Lord and from the glory of His might”).

Also, I wanted the central beam of light coming from Christ’s face to allude to the imagery of Revelation that has a sword (His word) coming from His mouth and slaying His enemies (Rev.19:15)….it is with this sword that He strikes down the nations, which is another reason why I made it the instrument of judgment in this picture.

The saints are in white to represent their righteousness given by and enabled by Christ. Jesus Himself is in a white robe dipped in blood (representing both His role as sacrificial Lamb, Rev.5:6 and trampling Lion, Isaiah 63:3), and the golden sash around His chest is taken directly from Rev.1:13 and represents His glory/divinity.

lastly, I put Christ’s arms outstretched as a reminder that the one who was pierced by wrath on the cross now pierces with wrath in a his second coming….and His hands in the form of the traditional patriarchal blessing to show that His heart is full of love to bless His people, even as He judges.

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