11. Then John saw a white cloud—
Seated on the cloud was One who looked like the Son of Man with a gold crown on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand.
The Greek word use for crown represents a “garland of victory” according to JFB. The victory is described in Rev 19:11-21.
“…in the midst of the lampstands I saw someone like the Son of Man, dressed in a robe reaching to His feet, and with a golden sash wrapped around His chest.”
“As my vision continued that night, I saw someone like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient One and was led into His presence.”
Jesus called Himself the Son of Man 83 times in the gospels (NKJV). He applied Daniel’s prophecy to Himself.
12. a. Grapes
The nation of Israel is the vineyard of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. The people of Judah are His pleasant garden. He expected a crop of justice, but instead He found oppression. He expected to find righteousness, but instead He heard cries of violence…They have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel….NLT
The wine from the grapes represents blood. A blood sacrifice is required as payment for sin.
b. Sharp sickle
Swift judgment is the context of the passage in Joel.
In Matthew 13:24-30; 25:32, Jesus tells a story about the Kingdom of Heaven.
The farmer planted good seed in his field. While the workers slept, the enemy planted weeds in the wheat field.
Uprooting the weeds would also uproot the wheat. The farmer let them both grow together. He said the harvesters would sort out the weeds to be burned.
In the same passage, He talks about gathering all the nations into His presence. There He will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
A winepress is used to crush grapes yielding blood, in this case. The winepress represents God’s divine judgment.
It’s interesting, many ancient wine presses survive in Israel. They aren’t at all like modern ones. The photo I found looks like an ancient street.
The history of the destruction of Jerusalem says that blood flowed in the streets. (I’m sorry the document doesn’t allow me to link to a specific place. Or I don’t know how.)
13. God’s perfect love
God sent judgment in response to the cries of the martyrs.
The unrighteous ignored His warnings. Finally, time ran out.
This I know—
God is loving and merciful. He is not abusive or sadistic.
He is steadfast, patient and faithful. He is not schizophrenic or bipolar.
He is a good Father. He is not evil.
He requires justice. Sin is pardoned through a blood sacrifice.
Because He loved His creation so much, He sacrificed the blood of His own Son whom He dearly loves.
Now, redemption couldn’t be easier. The greatest loving gesture.
Those who reject the perfect Lamb of God who took their place, must bear the judgment themselves.