Then comes the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all enemies under his feet. 1 Cor. 15:24, 25.
OUR Lord, although victorious, is not a triumphant King. Nor will He be, until He comes the second time to receive His kingdom, and to reign in undisputed and universal supremacy in the bosom of a gathered Church, and over a subdued and renovated world. He will then appear “more than a conqueror,”—even triumphant. He is represented as having, “after He had offered one sacrifice for sins, forever sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting until his enemies be made his footstool.” What are we to gather from this statement? Much that is deeply and gloriously significant.
It describes the Redeemer in the interval between the victory and the triumph—the victory which signalized His past humiliation, and the triumph which will aggrandize His coming glory. It defines His position of repose and His attitude of expectation. It is impossible not to perceive, in these remarkable words, a reference to another and a final conflict—the issue of that conflict being the crowning act of His glory.
Are His enemies yet His footstool? Are all things yet subdued under Him? Is the world subdued? Is sin subdued? Is Antichrist subdued? Are the powers of darkness subdued? Is Death subdued? No! But they shall be. At what time? When Christ “shall appear the second time without sin,”—or a sin-offering, and therefore no more as a Priest who is to die; “unto salvation”—and therefore as a King who is to reign. “For He must reign, until He has put all enemies under His feet.”
Then, then will our Lord appear as a triumphant King to your eye. Picture the scene! Every foe now falls before Him. Death, the last enemy, is destroyed. All His enemies are “consumed with the spirit of His mouth”—the universal diffusion of His gospel—”and with the brightness of His coming”—the kingly power of His advent. All antichrists retire—their imposture exposed, their pretensions confounded—and Christ remains in triumph. All earthly kingdoms are dissolved—their dominion destroyed, and their glory passed away—and the kingdom of Messiah fills the world. All principalities and powers lay down their sovereignty at His feet, and Immanuel triumphantly reigns, having on his vesture and on his thigh a name written—”King of kings, and Lord of lords.”