Jesus is the Lord of Time
Time is a gift. At least, it was in the garden of Eden. There in the garden every moment of time was perfect and precious. But then Adam and Eve rebelled. From that point on up until this day, instead of blessing us, time tortures us. When we were children time seemed to be on our side. But then the fun of play was replaced by the need of doing work. And then we graduated from high school and time took our friends away from us. You grow older and it might be that God blesses you with children. But then those children grow up and move out. Time takes them away. Time travels on and soon our friends and family members are moving away and passing away. And finally then, after time is done taking everyone and everything else away, it comes for us. Time was meant to be a gift. But instead, it has become in so many ways a curse. And so, our heart cries out when we ponder this fact. It asks the question, “Who is in control of time and all the damage it brings?” And here in these words at the end of the bible, we learn that Jesus is. For in Revelation 1 we read these words: “John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne,” (Revelation 1:4 NIV)
John starts off his letter to the seven churches. He tells them that grace and peace is theirs. But that grace and peace is given to them by the one who “was, is and is yet to come.” If we ask the question, “who is in control of time” the answer we hear here is that Jesus is. Jesus is the one who was, is and is yet to come. And in the words that follow he shows us what it means that he is in complete control of time: “and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.” (Revelation 1:5 NIV)
These are some beautiful words to hear, ponder and cherish. Jesus is the firstborn. He is the firstborn from the dead and the firstborn over the dead. There is a picture here that we need to understand. Jesus conquered death. And he showed it. He proved that he conquered death by rising from it. Easter Sunday was his great proof that he had conquered death. But that word, “first” teaches us an important fact. If Jesus was the first, then what else do we learn? If he was the first….then there will be others. If Jesus rose from the dead, then at just the right time he will raise us. But how do you know? How do you know that he will raise you from the dead? John tells us: “5 To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, 6 and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father — to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.” (Revelation 1:5–6 NIV)
Jesus will raise us from the dead at just the right moment because he has rescued us from our sin. At just the right moment Jesus died on the cross. Perfect God and perfect man—he died on the cross and bought us with his very own blood. Now let me ask you a question: if Jesus went to all the time and trouble of paying for your sins with his own blood, won’t he then also go to the time and trouble of raising you from the dead?
Jesus is the one who is in control of time. He will raise us from the dead because he rescued us from sin. But Jesus is in control of time in other ways too: “Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen.” (Revelation 1:7 NIV)
They got away with it. To everyone there on that day when Jesus was pierced with nails and thorns, that’s the conclusion that everyone had to reach. They pierced Jesus and killed him. And then they got away with it. And it seems like the same thing is happening today, doesn’t it. People who follow Islam, that religion of peace, try to kill Jesus by killing those who worship him. And it seems as if they get away with it.
They got away with it. That is the appearance. But what is the reality? The reality is that Jesus is the Lord of time. Judgement Day will come. And on that day every eye will see him—even those who pierced him. And they will panic because of him. For then they will realize that their time is up. They thought they got away with it. They pierced Jesus and killed him and it seemed like they got away with it. But the Lord of time caught up with them. And on that day he will perfectly punish them.
Jesus is the Lord of time. Time belongs to him—every second and every millennium. With that in mind, my dear brothers and sisters in Christ, you can be content. There isn’t enough time in this world to find all the people who hate Jesus and show that hatred by hating us. We are unable to find and deal with them even if we had all the time in the world. But that’s not our job. Our role is to speak the truth in love–law and gospel, sin and grace. It is our Triune God’s role to judge.
Jesus is the Lord of time. And in our last verse John reminds us of this fact: ““I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”” (Revelation 1:8 NIV)
These words end where they began. If you look in your life time has taken from you so much already. I read these words and I think of my Sunday School teacher. Her name was Bea Bernthal. Several days ago, at the age of 88 time took her. I remember her because when I was a tiny boy and was unable to sit still and be good, she had no patience for my sin. She, with stern words let me know that I could learn and listen and be respectful. I remember her because even though I was so young, she had this gift of recognizing that just because I was young that didn’t mean I was stupid. She taught me to yearn for heaven and that time when Jesus would take me to heaven. And now she is there and I am here. But Jesus is the Lord of time, isn’t he? Whatever words I want to say to her now can wait because Jesus is the Lord of time. And since he is the Lord of time, when we rise with perfect bodies I will have nothing but time to catch up with her.
All of this I say about Bea Bernthal not as much so that you can relive my Sunday School years with me, but instead, because you have Bea Bernthals in your lives. You have fellow Christians that time robbed from you. And even worse, you know that you could have spent more time with them here, but you didn’t. What these words teach and preach to you is that Jesus is the Lord of time. At just the right time, with is own blood he rescued you from your sin—even that sin when you could have spent more time with your loved ones and didn’t. And at just the right time he will raise you from the dead. Jesus is the alpha and the omega, the one who is and was and is to come. Amen.