Faithful and True
Read Revelation 19:11-13 (ESV)
Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one siting on 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 written that 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.
How can understanding Jesus’ as a warrior and a judge give us peace and hope?
One of the greatest stumbling blocks that trip people up about Christianity is judgement. I often hear people say, “Well, my Jesus wouldn’t judge people and send them to hell.” I would have to argue that if “your Jesus” never judges anyone, then you aren’t following the Jesus of the Bible and that is evident in today’s verses. Jesus judging evil is a good thing!
In Revelation 19:11-13, John saw a warrior on a white horse who is Jesus. But this isn’t a picture of Jesus that we typically see. He isn’t healing our infirmities. He isn’t letting the children sit on His lap. He isn’t meek and mild. He isn’t hanging on the cross for our sins. Jesus is often referred to as the Lamb of God. For example, in Revelation 5:12 a myriad of angels surrounded the throne and proclaimed in unison: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” We are used to thinking of Jesus as the Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world.
But He is also referred to as the Lion of Judah which we see in Revelation 5:5: “And one of the elders said to me, ‘Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and the seven seals.’” The picture of Jesus as a conquering lion is similar to today’s picture of Him as a warrior on a white horse. He is coming to fight evil and He will conquer the enemy. When Jesus came to earth the first time, He came in humility to be our Savior. He came as the Lamb. When Jesus comes to earth the second time, He will come in majesty to judge. He will come as a powerful Lion and a mighty Warrior.
In his vision, John saw heaven open up and Jesus came out on a white horse. This is significant because Roman generals used to parade around the streets on a white horse when they had been victorious in battle. Jesus on His white horse before the battle even begins demonstrates that Jesus is already victorious! White is also a color that symbolizes purity. It shows that Jesus is spotless and holy. His name is also “Faithful and True.” We can trust that He will judge rightly and that He will do what He has promised—put a stop on sin once and for all.
God’s judgement often makes people feel squeamish. But we have to remember that He will not judge unfairly. He will not dole out undeserved consequences. He will judge and make war “in righteousness” (v.11). Because He is holy and spotless, He has to respond to sin. He cannot allow wickedness and evil to prevail. If He allowed sin, He wouldn’t be holy or just or loving.
There will be no sin that will be able to fly under His radar. His eyes are described as flashing with fire and will see it all. For those who have persisted in sin and rebelled and rejected the grace of God, there will be nowhere to hide. The many diadems or crowns on His head symbolize that He has conquered all of the kings of the earth and He now reigns supreme in their place.
If you’ve ever wondered why it seems that evil prevails, this vision in Revelation should bring you great comfort. God will not allow evil to go on forever. He is being patient with the world. He wants us to repent and be saved (2 Peter 3:9). But His patience will not last forever. He will deal with sin. He will put a stop to evil. He will right all wrongs.
Friends, for those of us in Jesus Christ, this picture of Jesus as a mighty warrior on a white horse, crowned in majesty, reigning supreme, searching out evil, and conquering it once and for all should bring us peace. His judgement is not out of line. It is not overly harsh. It is perfectly just and He is being faithful to His Word. As David said in Psalm 51:4, “You are right in your verdict and justified when you judge” (NIV). He is “Faithful and True” so we can rest assured that one day, we will live in eternity with Him and wickedness and sin will be no more!
Lord, You are Faithful and True. You keep Your promises and You have promised to conquer sin. You will execute perfect justice towards those who have rejected You as King. Come quickly, Lord Jesus. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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