Thy Kingdom Come – Day 8

Day 8


Revelation 1:17-18 

When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as if I were dead. But He laid his right hand on me and said, ‘Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last. I am the living one. I died, but look – I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.’ 

There is a story about two miners in South Africa. One was a Christian and the other an atheist. As they mined the rich seam of coal together a piece of the roof came loose and struck the atheist miner on the helmet. Afraid that the whole roof would collapse he cried out ‘O God help me!’. His Christian friend smiled and replied: ‘There you are, I told you, there’s nothing like great lumps of coal for knocking unbelief out of a man.’ 

There are moments in our lives that make us stop and think about life’s big questions. What is the meaning of it all? Is God real? Is there really heaven and, if there is, can I be sure I’m going there? John’s vision of Jesus Christ in glory shook him, shocked him, thrilled him and revitalised him. 

His first reaction is to ‘fall down at his feet as if I were dead’. It is just like Isaiah’s reaction, which he reports in Isaiah 6: ‘Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man.”’ 

Humanity’s natural and right reaction in the presence of our holy and glorious Lord is to realise that He is holy and we are not. 

The life of the Lord Jesus was perfect. We read the Gospels and we just know that the one whom we meet there is wonderfully and radically different from anyone else. His is a life as it should be lived. 

Realising that we are what the Bible calls sinners, those who fall short of God’s standards, is not designed to be a depressing final diagnosis of what it means to be human; but rather an essential step in knowing that God has a rescue plan. That plan was Jesus; He makes an offer and gives us the choice to accept His rescue plan. 

Delegates at the Lambeth ConferenceDelegates at the Lambeth Conference

For both Isaiah in the Old Testament and John in the New, God’s reaction to our need is free and full forgiveness. Isaiah has the symbol of a cleansing coal and John has the healing hand of the Lord Jesus touch and restore him. Remember the story of the Prodigal Son. He has this nicely worked out speech that he had composed in the pigsty; but then finds his father running towards him with a robe, a ring, and sandals, and he is welcomed to a party. 

An African proverb says simply, ‘Who forgives, wins!’ The Lord Jesus who, on the cross, prayed for the soldiers who crucified Him, is the great winner and when we accept Him as our Lord then we share in His victory. 

Pray that those whom you especially hold before God may come to know the joy of being welcomed to God’s eternal banquet and rest in the forgiving touch of Jesus.