Sunday, December 4, 2022
If you can remember way back to November 21, we read about a rider on a white horse, the first of the “four horsemen of the apocalypse” in chapter 6. The four horsemen constitute the opening section of the “chronology” of Revelation. (If we can call it that. Revelation is in part so fascinating because it loops around, runs back to creation, brings us to the time of Christ, and then thrusts us into the future again!) In chapter 6, the horseman was conquest, the personified human impulse to dominate and subjugate others. The horsemen collectively are personifying human evil with the brakes cut. Humanity is allowed to get as bad as it will get, and then God steps in, in judgement.
But today, the same imagery of a person on a white horse is used, with VASTLY different purposes. The one who rides the horse does come to conquer, but his name is faithful and true. His motivation and goal is righteousness. Then we see him: eyes of fire, head full of crowns, a mystery to all except God himself, drenched in the blood that saves, the Word made flesh. Christ, magnified, glorified, empowered and regal, comes to take the crowns from the world leaders that are his by birth, his by death, and his by resurrection. He truly is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
I recreate so much of the language to encourage you to stop and read 19:11-16 – and actually, the whole chapter while you are at it. This is the Christ we are called to serve, recognize, praise and adore. This is the Christ who comes again, for the second time. When first he came, why we celebrate Advent and Christmas, he was born in a lowly stable with a manger for a bed. He comes the second time riding the warhorse, not lying where it feeds. At Christmas, he was born to a young woman and her husband-to-be and raised as a refugee in Egypt. At the second coming, he will be bringing together those who follow him from every corner of the world, and setting his people up tall, not refugees and sojourners but citizens of the world made new. At Christmas, only shepherds (and magi, but not really) came to him and gave him gifts and bowed down to the king. At his second coming all will bow to Christ, highly exalted and magnified above every name and above every power.
May we praise and adore the Christ who came and is coming again.
- Jake Ballard
- We need to reexamine our view of Jesus. Jesus was a child born to the poor, oppressed and disposed. Jesus was a meek and mild suffering servant. But Jesus IS and WILL be Lord over all. Jesus IS and WILL be king of kings and lord of lords. Do you give him the worth and honor due him?
- As you celebrate Jesus’ first coming, how can you put more focus on his second coming?