Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. Rev 1:7
Jesus is returning, of that we can be certain. That promise has been the hope of the church, the assurance of justice served and wrongs made right, the triumph of good over evil, and the comfort of tortured hearts since the day that the resurrected Jesus first departed from that hill outside of Jerusalem to return to His rightful place alongside the Father on the throne of Heaven.
We have the promise made by Jesus himself both before and after his resurrection, as he stood before the Sanhedrin on the day of his murder proclaiming that he would return on the clouds of heaven, and as he assured his disciples on that same night that he was going to prepare a place for them and that he would return for them to be with him there. A promise that holds true for all who believe.
This is a promise that has been echoed throughout the New Testament, and again by Jesus himself, as he reveals the events to surround his return to his Apostle John in the Revelation, who is a prisoner on an island rock quarry that serves as a forced labor camp for enemies of the state.
John is an enemy of the state because his hope and his allegiance is given to a King and Kingdom that is not subject to Rome or its Caesar, a kingdom that resides in his heart via the Holy Spirit of the King he has chosen to follow, a kingdom which is more than just a memory and a promise, a kingdom that is very real and very close although it cannot be seen with the natural eye.
Yet John, the Apostle and friend of Jesus the Messiah, is going to get a glimpse of that Kingdom and be encouraged to write of what he sees so that all who call on the name of the Lord and King of Heaven, the Alpha and Omega, the First Born from among the dead, will know that this kingdom is real and that there is indeed a place there, prepared just for us. A Place secured and prepared by the man we knew as Jesus, who turned out to be the Son of God, who loved us with an unimaginable love of which we will never fully fathom, but can only benefit from.
And on that day, every eye, including ours, will behold the glory of the coming King as his Spirit within us rejoices at the grand reunion of the entire family of God with their Lord, the Groom, coming to gather us for his wedding feast. Proving to all once and for eternity, that He is the way, the Truth and the Life—the only, way, truth and life.
When will this be? Soon and very soon.
I am coming soon; hold fast to what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. If you conquer, I will make you a pillar in the temple of my God; you will never go out of it. Rev 3:11—12
It may seem that having waited for two thousand years now, that his return has been far from soon. But when he returns, the span of eternity that is suddenly before us, with the realization of eternity past, and the blip that our lives were in light of that, those years will be but a blink of the eye in the context of our forever reward in the Temple of our God—in the house of our Father.
In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. John 14:2-3
Love built this house, and love will get us there. In the fullness of time.
Love is patient; the Lord wants to give all a chance to return his love and find their place in that house.
So today I am pondering the first chapter of the Book of Revelation. The opening verse refers to it as “the Revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave him to show his servants”. Thus this book is indeed a revelation, given to us from our Lord Jesus Christ to share with those who love him, just what his Father has planned, how the victory that Jesus won on the cross and in the tomb is fully and finally implemented, and just exactly how he intends to return.
But it is more than just a revelation of things to come and a tantalizingly marvelous look into the throne room and the workings of heaven itself, it is also a beautiful and magnificent revelation of our resurrected Lord in the fullness of his glory. A glory that, when revealed to all, will bring even the hardest of hearts trembling to their knees in fear, awe and worship.
A glory that can overwhelm and terrify, yet is beautiful even in that brilliance for us who know him, because we’ll see through that magnificence, the man who came to live and die for us, we’ll see the heart of love and the burning desire and passion that drove him to shed his blood, to be pierced, for us, his creation, his children, his friends. We’ll see the scars that he chooses to still carry to remind us of his love and devotion to us for whom he became flesh and blood and died.
He also carries the scars so that even those who mock and deride him, his message, and his people, will know just exactly who it is that is coming on the clouds on that great and terrible day when every eye shall see the one whom we call Lord. And blessed are those who have not seen, who have not placed their fingers in the scars, and yet believe.
For we who believe now are a kingdom of priests—kings and priests—and we who serve and honor him now will rule with him when he places all the world’s thrones under his feet. But even until then, we are his and we bow down to no other on this earth or in the heavens.
We are his bride; we are the church. The church built on the rock of our confession that Jesus is the Christ. The church for whom he cares enough to send us–even as we await his return–words of encouragement, correction, warning and promise; to reveal to things to come, things to watch for, and our place in all of it. If we dare or care enough to hear with our ears and to see with our eyes and to set our hearts to understand what the Spirit is saying to the church–to you.