When Christ returns (see Luke 21:25-38), He will come “with power and great glory” (v. 27). He is the Son of Man — a title that emphasizes His humanity, but also is a reference to His Messianic authority —
I kept looking in the night visions,
And behold, with the clouds of heaven
One like a Son of Man was coming,
And He came up to the Ancient of Days
And was presented before Him.
And to Him was given dominion,
Glory and a kingdom,
That all the peoples, nations and men of every language
Might serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
Which will not pass away;
And His kingdom is one
Which will not be destroyed. (Dan. 7:13-14)
It is popular to emphasize the humanity of Christ — to think of Him as relating to our problems and being accessible. The Christ who pulls children on His lap is loved; the Christ on the cross is shunned. [Aside: as an example, consider the recent cover story of Newsweek which asserted about Christ: “The cross itself was not the point; nor was the intense physical suffering he endured. The point was how he conducted himself through it all—calm, loving, accepting, radically surrendering even the basic control of his own body and telling us that this was what it means to truly transcend our world and be with God.”]
Yet the second coming of Christ is another reminder of His supremacy. Yes, He took on flesh and was a real man, but He is also the God-Man. He is deity. He is a brother, but He is the firstborn among many brothers. He is a man, but He is the firstborn of creation. He is like no other.
And when He returns, He will demonstrate that supremacy in convincing fashion. The nations will still be in rebellion, even after the Great Tribulation. They will amass themselves against Him, but He will ride on His white horse (Rev. 19:11, denoting His sure victory), and no man will be able to escape His penetrating, all-seeing eyes of fire (Rev. 19:12). Then from His mouth will come a sword, with which He will strike down the nations (Rev. 19:15).
On first reading, one might think that this battle between Christ and the nations will be a drawn out affair in which He brandishes this sword and physically slays the enemy one-by-one. But the sword of God in Scripture is a common picture for the Word of God. And the fact that the sword comes out of the mouth of Christ indicates that this sword is a spoken word. So Christ will defeat His enemies through the power of His Word. Christ’s supremacy and authority is so great that no one can stand against even the word of His mouth.
This is the character of Christ when He comes again. And this is the character of the eternal Christ even now, and for all time.
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