15–21 December 2019.
When we worship Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords, of course we don’t mean that Christ is just our King and only our Lord. No, Christ is King and Lord over all people. People in all countries, all cultures, all religions, and all times all belong to Christ, and he is the Lord and God of them all. That’s why Philippians 2:10–11 can promise that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord – in heaven and on earth and even under the earth. And that’s why Jesus can declare so powerfully in John 12:32 that “when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to myself.” Christ is not a small town mayor. He is God, the universal Lord and King, and the one who reigns not only over the church, not only over the whole world, but over all the universe.
In Revelation 7 we see a vision of the result of Christ’s universal lordship. In vv. 9–12 John describes a great vision of people from all around the world streaming in to sing and celebrate and worship Christ the Eternal King: “a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb” (v. 9).
Back in the Old Testament the prophets imagined a wonderful future when all the world’s people would flood into Jerusalem to worship God at the temple. But in Revelation we see the real good news. It’s not in Jerusalem or in the temple that we meet God. Christ himself is the true temple, and it’s in the new Jerusalem, before Christ’s throne, that people from all over the world will meet to see God, to know him, and to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, and to worship him for all eternity.
Not only will that be a place of great praise and celebration, it will also be a place of wonderful comfort and healing. As vv. 15–17 describe, there at Christ’s feet all people who have lived through “great suffering” will find comfort. They will never be hungry or thirsty, they will never suffer again, and every tear will be wiped away.
That’s a wonderful vision of our hope: hope for us, hope for our family and friends, and hope for all the world’s people. Faced with such incredible love and joy and healing, it’s no surprise that the natural response of all those people at Christ’s throne is to worship and praise Christ as our God, Lord, and King forever and ever, for all eternity.
Pastor Stephen Lakkis