Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Glory of the Coming of the Lord

The final words from Martin Luther King Jr.'s last recorded speech, given on the eve of his assassination.

"I just want to do God's will. And he's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!"

And what was the glory of the coming of the Lord that MLK was so aware of that enabled him to boldly proclaim these words. What was it that gripped MLK so tightly, that even in the face of death and hatred, he had no fear?

I think MLK had an acute awareness of the restoration that Christ would in his 2nd coming. His confidence and foundation wasn't in himself, or even civil rights, but in what God was doing, and what he will eventually bring to completion. Despite the hardships and struggles faced in MLK's time, one day, Christ will come back in glory. He will dwell with his people, he will establish perfect justice, he will reconcile people from every nation, tribe and language, he will make all things new. MLK knew that the coming of the Lord meant that "every tear would be wiped away", and that "death would be no more". MLK had no fear, and was happy, because he knew that one day, when Christ returns and establishes his kingdom, he would join his brothers and sisters (white and black), singing the heavenly anthem,

"Hallelujah! For the Lord our God Almighty reigns. 
Let us rejoice and exult and give him glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come, 
and his Bride has made herself ready;
it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure"
Revelation 19: 6-8

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