The Majestic King

The Coming Return
Mark 13:24-37
“Then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.”

When Christ first came, he came as a humble servant. We know the story of Christmas well. The story of the King of Kings being born in a manger to a poor family. At His first advent, it was lowly shepherds to whom the message of the angels was given, a message of peace and salvation. A star appeared in the east to guide wise men from the east in search of Christ. It is a story that we identify with. A humble beginning and the story of the one who possesses all power yet identifies with the lowest of society. It resonates with us because it brings Jesus into our world and our level. However, there is a subtle danger that we leave Jesus in the manger. In the manger, Jesus is one with us and part of us; He is one that we can manage and control. In the Gospels, Jesus is safe, one who eats with sinners and loves children. 


When we see the description of Christ’s return, we are presented with a completely different picture. Instead of a humble baby, we find Christ coming with His glory and power on full display. The return of Christ will be preceded by global cataclysmic events not only in the geopolitical world but in all creation itself. The time will be characterized by global conflict as the nations of the earth join forces to attempt to annihilate Israel. But it is more than just an attack upon Israel; it is the final attempt of Satan to destroy God’s redemptive plan for Israel and the world (see Revelation 12, Daniel 11, 2 Thess. 2). Unlike the first coming when Christ came to bring salvation to sinners, at His second coming, He will come to bring judgment upon the world for its rejection of His salvation (see Matthew 24). At His second coming, He comes as a triumphant King to establish His kingdom and bring salvation to His followers. But he also comes to bring judgment upon those who reject him. This presents a picture of Christ in His majestic holiness, unequaled in His majesty, and unmerciful in His judgment. It confronts us with the reality that if we reject Christ, we will face eternal punishment. It confronts us with His justice. While Jesus is a loving and humble servant, He is also the King of Kings and Lord of Lords who executes justice upon those who refuse to accept the offer of His grace and salvation.


The statement “The Son of Man coming in clouds” is a quote from Daniel 7:13, which occurs in the context of Christ returning to establish His kingdom over all the earth, a kingdom that will be everlasting and never be threatened. The promise of this kingdom is the hope of all those who follow Christ, but the terror for any who have rejected Christ (Mt. 25:46). This is the Christ we find uncomfortable and desire to reject. We want the Jesus who is lying in the manger but not the Jesus who sits upon a throne. The first is comfortable, and the second is majestic, holy, and righteous. Yet, to understand Jesus, we must see Him as both. He is the humble savior who came in the flesh to bring the hope of salvation. At His first advent, He “emptied himself, taking the form of a bondservant”(Phil. 2:7) to bring salvation to those who come to Him. He came to avert God’s judgment by paying sins' penalty. At his advent, “every knee will bow of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tong will confess that Jesus is Lord,d to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:10-22). He will come to bring God’s judgment upon sin. The question for us today is this: As we celebrate the birth of Jesus at His first advent, are we ready to worship Him at His second advent? Having predicted His second advent, Christ challenges us to examine our life to ensure we are alert and ready “for we do not know when the appointed time will come” (Mark 13:33). If He returns today, are we ready?

 

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