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The Rider on a White Horse
by Mary Alice McGinnis
What is your favorite picture of Jesus? Maybe it is the scene of Jesus with the little children. Perhaps it is of Jesus our Good Shepherd. It might even be of Jesus hanging on the cross to die for our sins. Or the Resurrected Jesus coming forth in all His glory from the tomb.
I doubt that any of us thought of a picture of Jesus as the warrior, who “judges and wages war” as depicted here in Revelation 19.
Go on a little journey with me into your imagination. Picture in your mind’s eye right now what this Jesus looks like. This Jesus is the Mighty Bridegroom, who has returned for His Bride. Focus on the highlighted words as as God unfolds this for you.
The skies are split apart and heaven itself stands wide open. What does it look like? How do you picture it? Is it beautiful? Is it frightening? In what ways might it be both?
Jesus rides on a White Horse. Can you picture Him seated high, on the back of a mighty white stallion? Do you picture Him as the conquering hero? What is He rescuing you from?
Jesus is named Faithful and True. Why is this important? Notice it does not say Jesus had been faithful and had truth. Instead, it says He IS NAMED Faithful and True!! Being Faithful and True is the very essence of His being, His identity, the epitome of who is! How does that change how you see Jesus in this scene?
Jesus has unchangeable, pure integrity. He has no selfish ambitions, no need to prove Himself. He has no biases and His every action is fully aligned to His unadulterated Faithfulness and perfect Truth.
He has come to JUDGE and WAGE WAR. Does that comfort you or frighten you? (For more, listen to Pastor Steve’s Sermon from last Sunday, August 7). If you picture yourself as His Bride, how does this change how you see this verse?
His eyes are flames of fire. He sees all and knows all. He sees into the depths of every human soul. No thoughts or intention escapes His sight. Jesus’ flaming eyes caused Peter to “weep bitterly” over having denied Him three times. Do you see Jesus' eyes as eyes of flaming anger, or eyes flaming with passionate love? Or both?
Jesus’ clothes were dipped in blood. What do His bloody garments look like? Where did the blood come from? Why was the blood on Jesus?
The army with Jesus wore pure, white linen. Who are these dressed in white? Revelation 7:14 says, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
He treads the winepress of the fierce anger of God Almighty. This returning Jesus – our conquering hero, comes to make all things right.
In contrast to Jesus’ garments being sprinkled with His own blood, those who reject Him have a different demise. God’s well deserved, unfiltered wrath is unloosed upon them. He brings about perfect justice.
In the parable of the Wedding Feast in Matthew 22, Jesus says those who are undeserving were invited to the Wedding Feast and richly supplied with the proper, radiant-white wedding clothes. Without the covering of righteousness brought at the extravagant price of the blood of Jesus, God’s Son, the stains by our own guilt cannot be covered, hidden, or erased. If try to do it on our own, if we depend upon ourselves and our own self salvation projects, we are doomed.
Isaiah 63:2-3 says, "Why are your garments red, like those of one treading the winepress?" ... “I trampled them in my anger and trod them down in my wrath; their blood spattered my garments, and I stained all my clothing.”
Jesus is crowned the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! He has been crowned with many crowns – the diadems of supreme authority overall. He rules with an iron scepter and is the Name that is above every name! As we stand behind Him, we can trust Him for everything.
How did God speak to you today through the power of His Word in this passage?
Jesus, thank You that You are coming back for me. Thank You that You spilled Your blood for me, so I could be clothed with Your radiant righteousness. Help me to trust in Your Supremacy. Remind me once again, that just like all the armies of Heaven, I need not, nor dare not, depend upon my own strength and power to save myself. I forever cling to You, as the One who paid it all for me!