*This will be the final Lenten devotional of 2020. I want to thank all our devotional authors who have helped me keep these going during this difficult season: Brad Brown, John Kegley Allison Davis, Emily Knight, and Dallas Knight. To Shades, I encourage you to keep on reading Scripture daily that you may find ever-increasing joy in the glory of God. Grace and Peace, Pastor Jonathan
Today’s devotional is authored by Jonathan Haefs
Revelation 19:11-21 (click here to read the entire passage)
Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. (Revelation 19:11-16)
I love Lord of the Rings… books and films. That is no secret. In fact, if you know me, you are probably already rolling your eyes. Yeah… I talk about it a little too much.
However, bear with me for a just a moment.
One of my favorite moments in the films comes near the end of the second movie, The Two Towers.
A combined army of men and elves face overwhelming hordes of orcs at the fortress of Helm’s Deep. Led by Aragorn, they find themselves nearing despair and defeat when suddenly the dawn breaks… and with its light it brings back to Aragorn’s mind a promise made to him by Gandalf the wizard.
“Look to my coming on the first light of the fifth day, at dawn look to the East.”
And there, from the East comes the rider in white on his white steed… leading an army of reinforcements that vanquish the hordes of evil and bring about a seemingly impossible victory.
At the darkest moment… dawn.
Today is Holy Saturday. The darkest of days in the church calendar. Good Friday has passed. Christ has died… but he has yet to rise. For Jesus’ original disciples, there had never been a darker day than that first Holy Saturday. Yet, the dawn of the third day was on its way… and with its light it would bring back to their minds a promise…
“…the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.”
At the darkest moment… dawn.
We live in a world that feels like it is stuck in Holy Saturday… the darkest of days. All around us it seems as though evil has won, and on top of it all we currently face a global pandemic. Perhaps you find yourself nearing despair and defeat…
Yet, Holy Saturday is here to remind you that tomorrow’s dawn will come! We have a promise!
Revelation 19 says that our own rider in white is on his way! He rides a white steed and is crowned King of kings! He comes to vanquish the hordes of evil and bring about a seemingly impossible victory!
Yes, things may seem to be at their darkest… but we have the promise of a coming dawn… and this promise empowers us to press on!
Oh Shades! Lift your eyes and look to Christ… your King keeps his promises… behold he comes!
At the darkest moment… dawn!