Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!”
When Jesus opens the first seal of the scroll, John hears one of the four living creatures speak with a “voice like thunder.” If you have ever been caught in a quick-moving thunderstorm, you know the power of thunder. The loud booming of thunder from sharp cracks of lightning can make us run for cover.
The mention of thunder shows that God wants our attention. As the first seal is opened, we see a white horse, and its rider is determined to succeed in his mission. Soon we will also see three other powerful horsemen determined to win, but this first one is different. He is the only one introduced with a “voice like thunder.”
The color of the white horse stands for restoration and renewal, being made clean and given new life. This horseman’s mission is to restore God’s creation, and he is also given a crown.
If you are familiar with the story of Jesus’ life and mission, you will recognize this first horseman. This is Jesus Christ, the one whom God “crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death . . . for everyone” (Hebrews 2:9).
This horseman is on a mission, “as a conqueror bent on conquest.” And he comes into the story again later, in Revelation 19:11-16. At this point, though, we are invited to picture him at the cutting edge of God’s mission of salvation and restoration.
Thank you, God, for getting our attention. Open our eyes to the wonder of your ongoing mission of salvation through Jesus Christ. Amen.