Sunday, April 20, 2014

When Easter's climax takes place

The triumph of Jesus as the Christ at the Jewish Passover festival, which Gentiles call Easter, has not reached its climax. The resurrection of Jesus verified the Bible and His credentials as the Lord, the Christ. It also declared Him to be the Saviour with power to forgive and offer believers in Him a new beginning,a new hope and a new destiny. All that is available now. However, there are other factors still to be resolved from Christ Jesus' resurrection. He must return again to set up His kingdom and bring peace to earth. This is called Christ's second coming. There are many facets to this glorious hope.When He returns it will be as the Lord God of Hosts, the warrior Lord.

Most teaching, preaching and debating concerning the Second Coming of Christ revolves around Armageddon scenarios. Often overlooked, is a much more heart–warming doctrine and expectation. The Lord Jesus comes to enjoy His people. When will that take place? ‘On that day’ presumably the same period of time Jesus Christ comes as the Warrior Lord. To one group He wields the sword. To the other He comes with the victor’s garland.

Jesus Christ the Warrior Lord comes to be glorified.
We know not the details only the guest list.
They are His set apart ones. Other translations say ‘holy ones.’ Here is another difference between those destined for the sword and those for the garland. Holiness! This cannot be self generated. It must be bestowed. Without it no one will be able to see the Lord let alone abide in His presence. (Hebrews 12:14) Here again is another cause for glorifying the Lord for He has done it to us. ‘You who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he (Christ Jesus) has now reconciled in his fleshly body through death, so as to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him. (Colossians 1:21-22)

Christ's followers are under severe attack around the globe simply for being Christians. The Lord feels their pain and will not forget their faithfulness when He returns. Neither will Jesus ignore bringing vengeance upon those who who slaughter and defile His people. Justice will be done. Also at that time the Lord Jesus will honour those who have endured such oppression from across the centuries. Yes,they have already rested from their labours and trials but await their vindication. At this time the Lord’s combined people join in the celebration of their Saviour, Lord and God. For the first time the redeemed will join together and make the universe resound with their joy in Jesus their Christ. So many of them across the centuries, and more particularly during the years of tribulation would have been persecuted or slaughtered. Now they can give free rein to the pleasure and gratitude to the Son of God, their Lord and Saviour

Jesus Christ the Warrior Lord will be marvelled at by His people.
It doesn’t say.
But to see Him as the warrior Lord clothed in His righteousness, glowing with its brilliance, will be awesome. To have witnessed His triumph over the forces of evil with the sword of His mouth, the breath of judgment, will leave them speechless. That is, until there surges forth from countless lips the Hallelujah chorus of joy. What was sung on the day He entered Jerusalem on the donkey, and not really believed by the masses, now comes true.

Paul, in his letter to the Thessalonuians, goes on to say that some of his prayer life was set apart for them so the Lord will be glorified in them. There’s a principle here. The apostle turns the negative of affliction and loss into a positive. He urged his readers to see such terror as means of proving a personal worthiness for the coming Kingdom. Such worthiness shouldn’t be seen as trying to impress God. Rather it is God’s statement through the believers to the persecutors that He has made His people to be worthy. Their trust, proven under pressure, confronts a wicked world with an unassailable testimony to the Lord Jesus and His power to save and keep. When the Lord returns He will avenge His saints and honour them for their faithfulness. They will glorify Him but He will also rejoice over them.

As we celebrate the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus the Christ we also share in the expectation of its climax. Whatever our personal circumstances our hearts are set on the Lord as our saviour and our Friend as well as our Eternal God. We have a wonderful promise and hope that Christ's resurrection guarantees, Jesus is coming again.Then we will not only sing "He is risen, He is risen from the dead" or "We are waiting, we are waiting for Christ to return, we are faithful, we are faithful as we wait for Him to return." As we stand in awe before Jesus on that day our song may well be "He has come and we behold Him, Jesus has come as He promised, Jesus our Lord is with us now! Hallelujah!"

Until then we cry 'Maranatha!'

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