And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat on him was called Faithful and True…
[See Matthew 27:29.] Contrasts often powerfully reveal truth. But never did the universe present a contrast so striking as that suggested by our texts. Yonder in Jerusalem is a despised Nazarene, forsaken by His friends, hated, mocked, scourged, crowned with thorns! Yonder in heaven is the same Being, gloriously apparelled, crowns of victory on His head, worshipped by myriads of radiant spirits as "King of kings," etc.
I. THE CROWN OF THORNS SYMBOLISED CHRIST'S SUBMISSION TO SIN; THE CROWNS OF GLORY HIS TRIUMPH OVER SIN. The world has often looked upon this most unnatural sight, this reversal of the true, Divinely-appointed order of things — the evil triumphing over the good. The Son of Heaven's King is crowned with thorns and crucified; who will keep His laws or care for His sceptre now? The sharp thorns which pierced Him have healed many a wounded heart. His death has been a spring of life to the world. His shame has won immortal glory for countless redeemed souls.
II. THE CROWN OF THORNS SHADOWED FORTH CHRIST'S LOVE TO MEN; THE CROWNS OF GLORY MEN'S LOVE TO HIM.
III. THE CROWN OF THORNS SHOWED THAT CHRIST'S KINGDOM IS LIMITED IN ITS INSTRUMENTS; THE CROWNS OF GLORY THAT IT IS UNIVERSAL IN ITS EXTENT. The excited multitude would have made Jesus a King, and placed earthly weapons, soldiers, etc., at His disposal; but He thrust all these aside. He wore a "crown of thorns" to show that He was a King ruling not by force, but by influence, not by material instruments, civil power, etc., but by spiritual weapons, love, truth, etc. Universal dominion has been the dream of proud conquerors, Alexander, Napoleon; but they have traced their empires on shifting sands, to be obliterated by the next storm blast. But man's dream is God's sober truth.
IV. THE CROWN OF THORNS UNFOLDED THE TRANSITORINESS OF CHRIST'S SUFFERINGS — THE CROWNS OF GLORY THE ETERNITY OF HIS JOY. Thorns! Perishable in their very nature. The "many crowns" point to the everlasting joys which thrill the Redeemer's heart. His happiness is as permanent as His sovereignty.
(T. W. Mays, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.