Today's reading tells us of the second coming of Christ. In the Nicene Creed a sentence right before the last paragraph says, "He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end." Today's reading describes the first part of that sentence - coming again in glory as a judge.
As we examine today's reading I want to point out a couple of things that I find of interest.
When Jesus first came to the earth, some 2,000 years ago, he came as a sacrificial lamb. Jesus' first coming brought forgiveness. As today's reading tells us, in the second coming of Jesus we will see him as a conqueror and as a king. His second coming will bring judgment to those left on the earth after the rapture. This judgment will be final and result in the total destruction of evil (the beast, the false prophet, and all of those that worship the beast).
The second item I want to discuss may not be as obvious as the first. The second item I find interesting is the four names used for Christ in today's reading.
The name Jesus Christ is not used in today's reading, but I think it is clear that the rider of the white horse is Jesus. This rider is identified as "Faithful and True." I think this refers to Jesus as the faithful and true witness to God's glory.
The second name is unknown to us, known only to him. I think this implies that no name can do Jesus justice. Just like heaven will have a peace beyond our understanding, Jesus is greater than any human description can devise.
The third name is the "Word of God." What strikes me about this name is the use of "Word." In his Gospel, John called Jesus "the Word". Jesus speaks God's words, acts according to the word of God, and is the word of God.
The fourth name is actually two titles listed together, "King of kings and Lord of lords." This properly allows the reader to know the true position of Jesus in the hierarchy of man.
Yes, Jesus did die, Jesus was resurrected, and Jesus will come again. From today's reading it will be a glorious return that triumphs over evil.