© Marcelo A. Tolopilo
Jesus wins. In scripture, our true compass, there is never any uncertainty or equivocation with the promise of the Lord’s coming, or with the purpose of His coming, to win! Consider the oft quoted Christmas passage of Isaiah 9:6–7.
The certainty of the promise
We hear this ring of certitude in the words of the ancient pledge given to Israel in the book of Isaiah. Listen to the emphatic language promising Christ’s coming and His sure reign, “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. (Note the bedrock for the certainty of these promises…) The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this”(Isaiah 9:6–7). God’s fervent passion for His Son’s mission, backed by His limitless power will bring about the coming of Messiah and His eventual reign.
The fulfillment of the promise
This same tone of absolute confidence in Messiah’s victory is repeated at the doorstep of His first advent, “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. ‘He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end’” (Luke 1:31-32).
The ultimate realization of the promise
This absolute certainty of Christ’s coming in victory carries over to its description in the book of Revelation (Revelation 19:11-21). What’s interesting is that this passage describing the second coming of Christ is peppered with the use of the perfect tense in the Greek (7 out of 10 verses contain at least one use of the perfect tense). What does this signify? The key idea in the perfect tense is that of completion, a completed action. Think of the meaning of our English word “perfect.” It refers to something that is fully complete. In other words, when the New Testament speaks of Christ return as King, it speaks of it as something that has been consummated. It is certain. John describes Christ’s second coming to fulfill God’s long standing promise with these three opening verses, “And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God”
We can read the end of the story and know that Jesus wins!!! Isn’t that heartening and wonderful? Yes it is, but in our excitement let’s not forget to read verse 14, “And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses.” Who are these folks? The redeemed! You and me. Did you know you are included in a prophetic scene of Scripture? Well, you are. The Apostle John enabled by the Holy Spirit (Revelation 1:10; 4:2; 17:3; 21:10) gazes into the future and sees you and me coming in victory with the “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS”(Revelation 19:16).I am in that throng! You are in that throng!!—And so my friends, Jesus wins, and we win with Him.
This truth changes everything for us, doesn’t it? Here are a few applicational thoughts that roll out from this certain promise… Because Jesus wins and we win with Him…
- We know our suffering has purpose. Christ’s victory is presently transforming our temporal affliction into Christian character (Roman 5:3-5) and a future eternal weight of glory that will vaporize all of this life’s heartaches (2 Corinthians 4:17).
- We can live our lives without fear of condemnation and secure in the love of God because Jesus is risen and intercedes for us, His people, the redeemed who will return with Him as victors (Romans 8:31-39).
- We don’t have to live in the anxious shadow of death because we know one day we will forever be with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:17).
- We can invest ourselves, our lives, our resources in gospel ministry because we know our investment will only prosper (Matthew 6:19-21, 1 Corinthians 15:50-58).