The Rider on the White Horse

Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems; and he has a name inscribed which no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, wearing fine linen, white and pure, followed him on white horses. From his mouth issues a sharp sword with which to strike the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron; he will tread the wine press of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name inscribed, King of kings, and Lord of lords.

-Revelation 19:11-16 (RSV-CE)

This is my favorite image of Christ in Scripture. It reminds me more than anything that Christ is sovereign over the universe, and over my life. When things seem out of control, and that God is losing, I look here and I am reminded that Christ is Faithful. God has made promises and he will follow through with them. The enemy will be fought and he will lose. Christ is True. What he teaches, even when I do not understand, even when I do not agree, even when I want more than anything for it to be false, is true. And truth always works for the good of the soul. Christ judges. He is a savior, but he also judges, and in his judgment he makes war. He makes war against sin. And this is what I need, perhaps more than anything in my life right now: a God who is a warrior and fighter. A God who fights for me! A God who takes sin by the balls and deals harshly with it.

His eyes are flames of fire. Fire is an amazing thing, is it not? It has the power both to destroy and to refine. When I look at Christ, will I allow the fire of his soul to refine me like silver in a furnace, or will I allow the fire to utterly consume me? When he judges my actions, do I repent or do I defiantly hold on to them? On his head are many diadems. He is not just the King of the Jews and the Christians. He wears many diadems, he wears them all. He is King of every nation. He is King of every planet, of every star, of every galaxy and galaxy group. Jesus Christ is the King of the entire universe, of all that is visible and invisible. And his name is known by nobody but himself. He is incomprehensible. He is beyond my understandin. His ways are unknown to me, and I cannot counsel him.

His robe is dipped in blood. He has poured out his blood for us, for me. He loves us, loves me. He is the Word of God. He is God, and he is the one who has dwelt among us. This God who is beyond knowledge, who is faithful, true, just, consuming, and ruler of all that exists has descended in pure, infinite love, to this ugly rock hurtling through this microscopic corner of space, full of rebels, to pour out his life and his love for those same rebels. His robe proclaims his mission, to eradicate sin from our lives, not to eradicate us! This is why he fights! He desires to save us and return us to what we were meant for.

And the armies of heaven wear fine white linens and follow him on white horses. We truly are coheirs with him if we choose to fight in his army. We become the brothers and sisters of Christ and we inherit from the Father what Christ inherits, and we fight alongside him, helping to eradicate sin and bring more into the great army. He strikes the nations and rules them with an iron rod. Ultimately, God’s will cannot be prevented. Our free will is totally free, but it at all times boils down to two choices: God or not God. All of our choices are simply these two option disguised as other things. And on his thigh is a tattoo: King of kings and Lord of lords. He is the authority over all authority. Is the highest lawgiver. He is the highest judge. He is the highest giver of mercy. Every good thing is but a shadow of Christ.

It ihas been especially important to me this week to remember that Christ is king and judge and it is he who makes the rules and he who will judge me, and no other. But more importantly, it has been important for me to be reminded that he does not leave me to the wolves, but he fights for me and if I so desire, I can fight alongside him with all the hosts of heaven. 

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