“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice He judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns…He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and His name is the Word of God…Out of His mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations…On His robe and on His thigh He has this name written: King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Revelation 19:11-16
Jesus once asked his disciples: “Who do people say that I am? and followed it up with “Who do you say that I am? Still today this is THE question, demanding an answer from every living person. Where do we get our answer? We have heard Him described as quite different than the God of the Old Testament. He is all too frequently in public discourse described only as meek, mild, tolerant, loving toward all; the master of turning the other cheek. Whatever caricature is assumed, the truth is that the Christ of the Scriptures, the picture drawn from the entirety of the Bible, is not the person most often bandied about in public, in the media, in political conversation, whenever the speaker dares to consider it appropriate to bring up His name or some semblance of what they think He taught. Any true student of the Bible will know it teaches clearly that Jesus was before His birth, He assisted His Father God in creating the world and the universe. He has been with the Father and the Spirit from all eternity. And the Christ of the gospels offers glimpses to the careful reader into the Christ of the Book of Revelation described in Chapters 1 and 19 as well as Old Testament appearances like the Warrior Commander who stood before Joshua with a sword in His hand prior to the Battle of Jericho (Joshua 3). These descriptions run quite contrary to the popular misconceptions of the Jesus of the Bible.
Years ago in Scotland in response to some inadequate descriptions of Christ, I read this passage from Revelation 19 of Him to my professor and a few other post-graduate students in my seminar group. I perceived they were totally surprised as if they did not know these verses existed. But make no bones about it, the Jesus of Revelation 1 and 19 is the same Jesus of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, as well as Psalm 23 or Colossians 1! To get an accurate picture in your heart and mind, you must bring all of Scripture to bear on your thinking and faith, if you are going to truly know the One of whom you speak. Do not rest upon what you may hear in the public square, have been taught by false teachers, or upon your failure to read and study the whole Bible on your own.
Yes, Jesus is the suffering servant of Isaiah 53, led as a lamb to the slaughter, silent before His accusers. He is also the One in Revelation with a voice like the sound of rushing waters in the midst of a description of which Spurgeon says it is impossible to make a graven image. I once had an artist friend try to draw the description of Revelation 1 and the result was…well, let’s say less than understandable. I believe this is what God intended from this revelation of the person of Christ, His Son. It is intended for our heart and mind to wrestle with the various elements depicted here to grasp as much as we can of the true character of our Savior in all of His glory and all of His work, including what is to come. The Jesus Christ of the whole Bible is able to meet the true needs of anyone who earnestly seeks Him as well as the demands of any crisis. But for those who have questions of what they suffered in this life and many other difficult questions desiring answers, the future holds every expectation of complete clarity once the prophecy of Revelation comes to pass. It was revealed to us through John for our hearts and minds that any disciple of the Lord might not be caught unaware when these things come to pass, and to give hope to the one who precedes this time in death that a day of reckoning and consummation is on its way.
“Christ, of all my hopes the ground, Christ the spring of all my joy, Still in thee may I be found, Still for thee my powers employ.
“Let thy love my heart inflame; Keep thy fear before my sight; Be thy praise my highest aim; Be thy smile my chief delight.
(1st and 2nd verse of Ralph Wardlaw’s hymn, “Christ of all my Hopes the Ground, 1817)
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