We think much of the meek and gentle side of Christ’s character. Perhaps we do not think enough of the strength of it. We do not sufficiently realise the enormous strength that was required to complete that sacrifice. In Him was an iron will, unchanging purpose, strength from consecration, strength from righteousness. In Him was the heroism of prophets and martyrs.
The contrast between the characteristics of the historical Jesus at His first coming and the rider on the white horse of Revelation at His second coming is difficult to reconcile. The contrast between the suffering servant of the historical Jesus and that of the Divine Warrior, the Man of War, the Conqueror forces us to widen our conceptions if we are ever to understand the greatness of His love or the terribleness of His judgments. ‘The wrath of the Lamb’ sounds like an impossibility, but the righteous Judge is logically and chronologically the completion of the picture of the merciful Saviour. Sadly, the world today does not understand that the consequences of sin are terrible and that divine love must be in irreconcilable antagonism with it and must discipline and smite it. Throughout the Old Testament runs the longing that God would ‘awake’ to smite evil. That is the last and in some sense the greatest act by which He shows Himself ‘mighty to save His redeemed.’