Historically, the Christian church has veered between the sweet Christ and the conquering Christ, between the Christ of mercy and the Christ of wrath. Martin Luther compensated for the imbalanced emphasis on divine anger in his time by emphasizing the compassion of the Savior in his teaching of justification by faith.
The tendency should not be to veer over much toward the warrior Christ, or to favor the sweet Christ, but to incorporate within our understanding both the sweetness and the severity of the Lord Jesus. Christ exercises judgment and mercy in his governance of humankind. We should not focus on Christ as timid or tame nor should we view him as a figure of terror eager to cut us down. We live in a limited period of reprieve when sinners all are exhorted to make peace with God through the Redeemer. Amnesty is recommended to all through the gospel. But neglect of the gospel may result in sudden retribution. We cannot toy with the righteous God.
There is that beautiful sentiment enunciated in the Belgic Confession of Faith (Reformed) Article XXVI, Christ’s Intercession: “But this Mediator, whom the Father has appointed between him and us, ought in no wise to affright us by his majesty, or cause us to seek another according to our fancy. For there is no creature, either in heaven or on earth, who loves us more than Jesus Christ… If, then, we should seek for another mediator who would be favorably inclined towards us, whom could we find who loved us more than he who laid down his life for us, even ‘while we were his enemies’”.
The scepter of Christ is extended over the entire cosmos. It is sovereign over all rebel forces measuring, restraining, countering their evil ways. Soon it will be wielded to shattering effect as God decrees the destruction of all his foes. The armies of rebellion will be routed. The scepter of Christ rises protectively over his people and they yield themselves eagerly to his rule. Christ exercises universal dominion throughout the farthest reaches of the heavens and the vastness of space. Christ is sovereign over the interior of every human life and every historical event that occurs. Everything contributes to the manifestation of his majesty, the glory of the Godhead, and the mercy and justice of heaven.
Nothing depletes his power or diminishes the effectiveness of his attributes. His perfection and sufficiency never wanes. All his qualities coalesce in the holy development of his most wise purposes. Christ is to be feared and trusted. Christ is to be believed and obeyed. Christ is to be adored and worshipped. Saint or sinner dwell under his mighty scepter. Happy are those who may call him “my Lord”.