It is said that Easter is the most holy of all Christian celebrations. It looks back to the singular moment in human history when death was swallowed up in life as Jesus conquered the grave. The crucifixion is the promise that man can have forgiveness, but Easter Sunday is the promise that we can enjoy that forgiveness with everlasting life. So I won’t argue that Easter is the most significant day of celebration — so far.
Just on the horizon, another great day waits to overshadow even the glorious revelations of Easter. Mark your calendars, because we have it on good authority a greater day is coming.
As Jesus’ friends watched him leave this Earth, ascending to His Father, “suddenly two men appeared — in white robes! They said, ‘Why do you just stand here looking up at an empty sky? This very Jesus who was taken up from among you to heaven will come as certainly — and mysteriously — as he left.’”
By divine revelation, Jesus friend John was the first to see it, but we will see it too.
“I saw Heaven open wide — and oh! a white horse and its Rider. The Rider, named Faithful and True, judges and makes war in pure righteousness. His eyes are a blaze of fire, on his head many crowns. He has a Name inscribed that’s known only to himself. He is dressed in a robe soaked with blood, and he is addressed as ‘Word of God.’ The armies of Heaven, mounted on white horses and dressed in dazzling white linen, follow him. A sharp sword comes out of his mouth so he can subdue the nations, then rule them with a rod of iron. He treads the winepress of the raging wrath of God, the Sovereign-Strong. On his robe and thigh is written, ‘King of Kings, Lord of Lords.’
“I saw Heaven and earth new-created. Gone the first Heaven, gone the first earth, gone the sea. I saw Holy Jerusalem, new-created, descending resplendent out of Heaven, as ready for God as a bride for her husband. I heard a voice thunder from the Throne: ‘Look! Look! God has moved into the neighborhood, making his home with men and women! They’re his people, he’s their God. He’ll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good — tears gone, crying gone, pain gone — all the first order of things gone.’ The Enthroned continued, ‘Look! I’m making everything new.’
“Then he said, ‘It’s happened. I’m A to Z. I’m the Beginning, I’m the Conclusion. From Water-of-Life Well I give freely to the thirsty. Conquerors inherit all this. I’ll be God to them, they’ll be sons and daughters to me. But for the rest — the feckless and faithless, degenerates and murderers, sex peddlers and sorcerers, idolaters and all liars — for them it’s Lake Fire and Brimstone. Second death!’
“The angel showed me Holy Jerusalem descending out of Heaven from God, resplendent in the bright glory of God. The City shimmered like a precious gem, light-filled, pulsing light. She had a wall majestic and high with 12 gates … The City was laid out in a perfect square … The wall was jasper, the color of Glory, and the City was pure gold, translucent as glass. The foundations of the City walls were garnished with every precious gem imaginable … The 12 gates were 12 pearls, each gate a single pearl.
“The main street of the City was pure gold, translucent as glass. But there was no sign of a Temple, for the Lord God — the Sovereign-Strong — and the Lamb are the Temple. The City doesn’t need sun or moon for light. God’s Glory is its light, the Lamb its lamp! The nations will walk in its light and earth’s kings bring in their splendor. Its gates will never be shut by day, and there won’t be any night. They’ll bring the glory and honor of the nations into the City. Nothing dirty or defiled will get into the City, and no one who defiles or deceives. Only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will get in.
“Then the Angel showed me Water-of-Life River, crystal bright. It flowed from the Throne of God and the Lamb, right down the middle of the street. The Tree of Life was planted on each side of the River, producing 12 kinds of fruit, a ripe fruit each month. The leaves of the Tree are for healing the nations. Never again will anything be cursed. The Throne of God and of the Lamb is at the center.”
“… (Jesus) who testifies to all these things says it again: ‘I’m on my way! I’ll be there soon!’ Yes! Come, Master Jesus!” — Revelation 20-22, The Message
Easter is not a time to look backward only, but to look ahead to the return of the One who is coming again!
Kim Wier is an author and speaker, and hosts a weekly radio talk program on KSBJ in Houston.