LENT REFLECTION - DAY 28
11 Then I saw heaven opened, and there was a white horse! Its rider is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems; and he has a name inscribed that no one knows but himself. 13 He is clothed in a robe dipped in[h] blood, and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies of heaven, wearing fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. 15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule[i] them with a rod of iron; he will tread the wine press of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name inscribed, 'King of kings and Lord of lords'.
Revelation 19: 11-16
In revelation John is focused on the second coming of Jesus. He looks forward to the day that Jesus returns for his people to make all creation new. Jesus is a lion and a lamb, a warrior and a groom who participates in a joyful wedding with his bride, the church. Just as when a couple marry a new life begins, when Christ returns for his church there will be celebration and a new beginning.
In the image above John's uses militaristic imagery from his Jewish culture anticipating the Messiah coming to rule the nations as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. This contrasts with other imagery of Jesus as the Prince of Peace. The symbolism used by John would have been so familiar to the believers of his day and this reminds us that their is contention wherever God's goodness is breaking in to the realities of our world. The return of Christ is something for believers to look forward too, the parousia (Lord's return) is a cosmic event beyond our comprehension and any imagery.
Jesus on the white horse symbolises victory. Through God's faithfulness, truth and justice God's righteous reign will be made manifest. Jesus' eyes are burning with passionate love for his people, this love and his authority will finally deal with those who oppose God. The blood dipped robe shows this final confrontation is yet to take place, uncompromisingly, Jesus rides with self sacrificial passion. He has no need of earthly weapons like a sharp sword, but will weld the Word of God that comes powerfully from his mouth. By speaking the Gospel the deceptions of the world will be exposed and will fail. With Jesus comes a procession from heaven, his faithful and true followers. Victory is Jesus' alone, but the blessing belongs to all who follow him, they will know heaven upon earth, we will know heaven upon earth.
5 And the one who was seated on the throne said, 'See, I am making all things new.' Also he said, 'Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.' 6 Then he said to me, 'It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life. 7 Those who conquer will inherit these things, and I will be their God and they will be my children.
Revelation 21: 5-7
Father God, we thank You that Jesus is returning to make all things new. We thank You that there is a day coming when Jesus and the heavenly procession will come. May that day fill us with expectation as we anticipate the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. As we wait may Your Holy Spirit be our teacher as we seek to know more of Christ that we will be ready for his return and join his procession of victory. Let us be those who recognise and receive with joy Your passionate love in Christ. May we be excited by a world without pain and evil, a new creation filled with peace, love and joy. Help us to live in this hope and share this hope. Amen.