“The Triumph of the Lamb”
A tourist was exploring the sites of Lake Como in Northern Italy when he came across a beautiful castle. He was feeling kind of brave so he opened the gate and went inside. He was happy to notice that everything he could see was just gorgeous. All of the flowers were fully in bloom—the shrubbery was green and the landscaping was perfect.
Over to one side he notices a gardener on his hands and knees clipping every blade of grass. He asked the gardener, “May I look closer at the gardens? He said sure, you’re welcome to come right in. I’m glad to have a guest.” He then asked, where is the owner today? The gardener replied no he’s away right now. He then asked well when was the last time you saw him? He said about 12 years ago. He said you mean to tell me the castle has been empty for 12 years? He said yes. The tourist then asked, well who tells you what to do? Well he as an agent in Milan. Oh, how often do you see him? Still clipping, trimming…. He said never seen him. He just sends instructions. The tourist said but you have everything here in perfect condition. It looks like you’re expecting him tomorrow. The gardener said—I expect him to come at any time; perhaps today. I have always said that all of us should live every day as though it is our last but plan as though we don’t actually know. Can’t stop expecting. Can’t stop planning.
Jesus told us 3 things regarding the 2nd coming. (1) He is coming again. (2) At the time He was asked He stated clearly that only the Father knew. Now that He has rejoined the Father, He knows. (3) He will come quickly. His return could be at any time. This is the way every child ought to be living. Not as if Jesus is returning far off in the future but as though he could be coming back this afternoon. I look forward to the 2nd coming of Jesus, don’t you? And as I think about it, I often wish I could have been there when:
• Lazarus walked out of the tomb
• Sitting in the boat when Peter walked on water
• When he healed the man who was blind
• As sad as it would be, I wish I could have witnessed the crucifixion—I think it would have made me a more powerful preacher.
We can never forget what happened at Calvary. Now Revelation 1:7 tells us that “every eye will see Him.” Saved or lost, you will see Jesus! Even those who crucified Him will see Him again. But we will not see Him as He was---we will see Him with the veil removed in all of His glory.
There are 3 theological words that describe Him.
1. Jesus is the Omniscient one. He is the beginning and end and carries all the knowledge of God.
2. Jesus is the Omnipresent one. As the beginning and end he is the bookends of all eternity. He brought everything into existence and will bring an end at the appropriate time.
3. Jesus is the Omnipotent one. If He was anything less we would sort of tip our hats to Him. If He was just another teacher we might listen to some of what he as to say but not all of it. If He was just another carpenter from Galilee we would not feel the same. We don’t tip our hats to Him. We bow our knees to Him. Because He is Omnipotent. We bow our knees and in fact when He comes, every knee will bow. Believers and unbelievers alike.
Now the writer here is the apostle John. Of all the 12 disciples he is the only one still alive. Judas left the group. According to church history the other 10 died a martyr’s death. All were willing to give their lives because of what they had witnessed in person. Now John because of His testimony has been sent to the island of Patmos as punishment. Patmos is about ten miles long and 6 miles wide. It’s barren and rocky and would be the equivalent of being sent to Alcatraz in our day but without a bed and 3 meals a day. But even in this terrible place, God has a plan. It is on this terrible island that God spoke to him and invited him to step into heaven briefly to receive this amazing revelation. Look with me at 6 things John saw in Jesus.
1. He saw the resurrected Christ but still saw His humanity. When John was given the Revelation of Jesus Christ, it had been 60 years since he had seen Jesus. But according to scripture Jesus is the God-man. The nail prints are a part of His resurrected body. They are the ones Thomas touched and then his faith was increased. I believe we will see those nail prints in Heaven but we will certainly see them in a new light. They will be a constant reminder of the great sacrifice the Lamb of God paid for our sin.
2. He saw Jesus in all of His righteousness. He saw the only one who is perfect. In verse 14, we read that “His head and hair were white like wool—white as snow.” All through Revelation, the color white is a symbol of purity. Isaiah, in the OT said that “though our sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” As a result, because He is pure and holy He cannot and will not overlook our sin. Anyone who believes they can get into heaven without being born again doesn’t understand two things (1) how holy God is and (2) how sinful we are.
3. He saw the ability of Jesus to see us as we truly are. His eyes are described as being like a fiery flame. What does that mean? Simply put, it means Jesus can see right through you. Case in point-in Luke’s gospel he tells the story of a time when Jesus healed a man who was brought to Him. The man was paralyzed. Some men brought him to the place where Jesus was but couldn’t get to him because of the great crowd. So they carried the man up to the rooftop, cut a hole in the roof and then lowered him on a mat, right down in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, He healed the man. He healed him by saying friend, your sins are forgiven! Yes, we can be sin sick!
LUKE 5. READ VERSE 21. READ VERSE 22.
Jesus can read your mind. You may trick your mama but you will never deceive Jesus. Twice in my daily Bible readings this week I saw this in scripture. Nathanael asked Jesus how he even knew about him and Jesus replied, “I could see you under the fig tree before Philip found you.” As a result Nathanael then understood Jesus was the Messiah. Then in John, he says no one needed to tell Jesus about human nature, because He (already) knew what was in each person’s heart.
4. He saw Jesus in complete authority. In charge. Lord of all. Verse 15 says that Jesus voice is like “cascading waters.” When the unsaved stand before Him on judgement day, they will want to talk but they will not be heard. There will be no excuses that will be acceptable anyway but if you were to try, it would be like standing by the ocean during a hurricane and having an argument with the wind.
5. He saw Jesus as the Victor not the Victim. To many, Jesus is seen as a victim because of the great punishment He received at Calvary. Jesus was never a victim. Jesus made the decision; the decision was not for Him. He wasn’t forced. He stepped out of Heaven for one reason. His love for you and for me. Verse 16 tells us that “from His mouth came a sharp sword so that with it he might strike the nations.” Hebrews tells us the Word of God is a two edged sword. With His word God spoke the world into existence. He spoke and the mountains arose; he spoke and the flowers were planted; He spoke and the fish swam in the sea. This is why the scripture calls him the Word. The power in every word He spoke is beyond what we can even imagine.
6. He saw Jesus in all of His glory. In verse 16, John saw the face of Jesus and says it was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. Can you imagine standing face to face with the sun? The brightness would literally blind you. The apostle Paul was blinded when He saw Jesus but when we meet Him face to face we won’t be blinded; we will see Him for the first time in all of His glory as John saw Him. John said, “Dear friends, we are God’s children now and what we will be has not yet been revealed.” We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him as He is. In heaven there will be no more sun, no moon; no stars. Jesus will be all the light we will need.
How many keys do you carry around with you daily? Some have a chain on their belt because they have so many. These are mine. But I have more. I just don’t carry all of them with me. Like you I assume, I lose them from time to time. OK, I lose them weekly. I lose my phone; I wear a cap on Saturdays and at times I lose it as well. I find these things in some interesting places. I have found my cap on my head, my phone in my hand and my keys in my pocket.
I believe at the time of our death it will be much simpler than we think if we know Christ. Death will be like walking through a door into eternity with Jesus. There is no soul sleep where we are asleep until Jesus returns. We know that when the thief on the cross died, Jesus told him that he would be in paradise that day. Immediately, when we die, we will be with Jesus. When we come to the door; remember that Jesus said He is the door and that if any man or woman enters by Him, we will be saved. There is only one entrance and here’s the good news. When we receive Jesus He gives us the keys to the kingdom but guess what? We CANNOT lose them. We cannot lose our salvation. We cannot lose the keys. Jesus always has a copy; if we know Him, the door is always open. In Fact Revelation tells us this…”on no day will the gates (of Heaven) ever be shut.” Jesus said, behold I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears my voice I will open the door and come in. Jesus is the only key we will ever need.
As the writer, I relied heavily on the content presented by Dr. Adrian Rogers in his book, Unveiling the End Times. If you are preaching this series I strongly recommend that you read the book. :)