I have often tried to imagine the scene from Revelation 5:11, 12. Millions of extraterrestrial beings, far superior to us in every way, gathered in a vast stadium with dimensions we cannot begin to grasp, intent on honoring God—a Supreme Being far beyond and above anything they themselves can understand—the Creator of the Universe.
Like a throwback to an old science fiction movie, my mind tries to grasp what I have never seen. What would it be like to hear those magnificent beings harmoniously singing music composed by talent that surpasses the best Earth has to offer?
The disciple John tried to describe what he was seeing in the only way he could—with the vocabulary of his time. He saw Someone on a throne. We know He was not human because John describes Him as fiery red—the colors of jasper and carnelian. John sees an energy about Him—a force field that surrounds the throne—and he can only describe it as a rainbow of color, complete with flashes of lightning and rumblings and peals of thunder. +
The prophet Zechariah tells us there will come a day when we, His people— His church—will understand like never before God’s supreme gift to us: “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication: and they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn” (Zech. 12:10–12, NKJV).
I have not yet cried like that for Jesus. But I long for the day when we as a church are brought to our knees in love and gratitude—a gratitude born of understanding our hopeless condition and the incredible gift that was given to us. That day when “one interest will prevail, one subject will swallow up every other,—Christ our righteousness.”1
Am I expressing too much emotion over this? Perhaps, but perhaps not. Ellen White states, “You will meet with those who will say, ‘You are too much excited over this matter. You are too much in earnest. You should not be reaching for the righteousness of Christ, and making so much of that. You should preach the law.’ As a people, we have preached the law until we are as dry as the hills of Gilboa that had neither dew nor rain. We must preach Christ in the law, and there will be sap and nourishment in the preaching that will be as food to the famishing flock of God.”2
Let us lift Jesus up here—in our living, in our preaching, and in our evangelism. Only then will we be able to sing with the billions throughout the galaxies,
“Worthy is the Lamb,
Seated on the throne.
Crown You now with many crowns,
You reign victorious.
High and lifted up,
Jesus Son of God.
The Treasure of Heaven crucified.
Worthy is the Lamb!”3
—Robert Costa is an associate ministerial secretary and worldwide evangelism coordinator of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Silver Spring, Maryland, United States.
1 Ellen G. White, Sons and Daughters of God (Washington, DC: Review and Herald Pub. Assn. 1955), 259.
2 The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials (Washington, DC: Ellen G. White Estate, 1987), 560.
3 Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, “Worthy Is the Lamb,” http://www.songlyrics.com/brooklyn-tabernacle -choir/worthy-is-the-lamb-lyrics/. The song “Worthy Is the Lamb” was written by Darlene Zschech and is copyright © 2000 Wondrous Worship.