The King who abandoned His Throne

Every year I find that, as my family and I take time at Christmas to remember the astonishing incarnation of our Savior Jesus Christ, there is a new truth that the Spirit in me emphasizes to me and I am re-overwhelmed with who this God and this King is, who would take frail form and die for sinners… This year, I have found myself repeatedly going back to the reality (as nearly as I can comprehend it) of the heaven, home, and throne that Christ left to “wear our skin, to know this weary world we’re in.”

I was recently recommended to a blog of a woman whose firm faith and confidence in the Lord is rooted in the experience of His love and faithfulness through trial and adversity. Upon reading one of her more recent blog posts titled “My Grief Journal: Crystal Clear” (I wish I could explain how her testimony has encouraged and challenged me in my faith!), she described the hope that she has abundantly in the face of the loss of her husband to Alzheimer’s as she meditates on the glory of Christ’s throne – a place where her husband now stands with unspeakable joy. She shared a passage from Revelation 4 that she had been meditating on recently…

Revelation 4:2-3, “and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne. And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance.”

This powerful and intriguing passage prompted me to search the rest Scripture for descriptions of heaven, and especially of our Lord in heaven. What I found left me dumbfounded and more than a little frustrated with my own limited imagination and finite comprehension of what the Apostle John, the prophet Ezekiel, the prophet Daniel, and others described from visions that the Lord had given them of His glorious throne…

  • His throne is like lapis lazuli (Ez. 1:26)
  • The radiance of the Lord is like a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day (Ez. 1:28)
  • His throne is like a sapphire stone (Ez. 10:1)
  • The temple is filled with the cloud and the brightness of the glory of the Lord (Ez. 10:4)
  • The appearance of the wheels around the throne are like beryl or a Tarshish stone (Ez. 1:16, 10:9)
  • The vesture of the Ancient of Days is like white snow and His hair is like pure wool (Dan. 7:9)
  • His throne is ablaze with flames (Dan. 7:9)
  • He who sits on the throne is like jasper and a sardius (Rev. 4:3)
  • His throne is like an emerald (Rev. 4:3)
  • Out of the throne come lightning and peals of thunder (Rev. 4:5)
  • Before the throne is something like a sea of glass or crystal mixed with fire (Rev. 4:6, 15:2)

Can you imagine…?? Lapis lazuli, sapphires, beryl, Tarshish stones, jasper, sardius, flashes of lightning, rolls of thunder, the brightness and whiteness of snow, the brilliant gleam of glass and sparkling crystal, the intense and fierce blaze of flames leaping and lapping at the base throne! I had to search the internet for pictures of these jewels and gems… Oh, the colors! They are brilliantly beautiful! And I still cannot come up with an image in my mind that seems to fit what these writers are describing, even slightly. Even they could not find the words… Ezekiel, Daniel, and John continuously used the words like and appearance of. The throne had the appearance of a sapphire stone. What met their eyes and overwhelmed their senses they were left to compare to only what they knew from a lesser, finite, imperfect earth. We have no ability to fathom or envision all the glories of the throne of God.

What makes this more astounding is that this is only His throne. This is not even God Himself, existing and communing in three persons – Father, Son, and Spirit. Consider the Ancient of Days, the Redeemer, the Creator of the universe, Beginning and End, and the worship which He receives in His heavenly kingdom…

“A river of fire was flowing and coming out from before Him; thousands upon thousands were attending Him, and myriads upon myriads were standing before Him…” (Dan. 7:10)

“I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, and He came up to the Ancient of Days and was presented before Him. And to Him was given dominion, glory and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations and men of every language might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away; and His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed.” (Dan. 7:13-14)

“And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say, ‘HOLY, HOLY, HOLY is THE LORD GOD, THE ALMIGHTY, WHO WAS AND WHO IS AND WHO IS TO COME.’ And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying, ‘Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.'” (Rev. 4:8-11)

This is Christ our King. This is His throne, His habitation, His glory and splendor, majesty and power. This is His heavenly home, where the praise and worship of His name will not cease for all eternity.

This He left.

“although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.” (Phil. 2:6-7)

And I am left incredulous. What kind of God is this? What kind of King would abandon His throne, the most glorious, most holy, most powerful of thrones? Like a jewel entering a world of refuse for love of a speck of dust. He made Himself low, took on the most humble of forms, coming as a servant to depraved and rebellious men whom He had created. So perfect and immeasurable is His love that He would come with the express purpose to die. It was my cross He bore, my burden He plundered, my nails He took, my death He died.

THIS. This is the Christ that I am celebrating at Christmas. This is the King that I am lauding in the feeding trough. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. And I have been awed by the humility of His birth which is magnified by the glory that He deserted. It was for love and the joy set before Him that He renounced His throne and claimed the title of Author and Perfecter of our faith (Heb. 12:2). This is our joy and hope at Christmas! Oh, for the day when we will stand before His throne and weep to see Him just as He is (1 John 3:3), in all of His glory and majesty and power and splendor and colorful array and beauty and glittering light!

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Comments
2 Responses to “The King who abandoned His Throne”
  1. Roz wyton says:

    Awesome description of our amazing God. Love your heart my sweet little granddaughter.

  2. Laurie Price says:

    Hi Sierra
    I am blessed to read your thoughts on Heaven. I think about it so much now that my hubby is there, as you know. When a loved one “goes before us” it draws our thoughts to our eternal home. One day we’ll all be there together lost in wonder, love and praise!

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