[Rev. 11:15] ¶ Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven saying:“The kingdom of the worldhas become the kingdom of our Lordand of his Christ,and he will reign for ever and ever.”[Rev. 11:16] ¶ Then the twenty-four elders who are seated on their thrones before God threw themselves down with their faces to the ground and worshiped God [Rev. 11:17] with these words:“We give you thanks, Lord God, the All-powerful,the one who is and who was,because you have taken your great powerand begun to reign.[Rev. 11:18] The nations were enraged,but your wrath has come,and the time has come for the dead to be judged,and the time has come to give to your servants,the prophets, their reward,as well as to the saintsand to those who revere your name, both small and great,and the time has come to destroy those who destroy the earth.”[Rev. 11:19] ¶ Then the temple of God in heaven was opened and the ark of his covenant was visible within his temple. And there were flashes of lightning, roaring, crashes of thunder, an earthquake, and a great hailstorm.
Christ has ended the tyranny of the Law’s condemnation. Notice that the angel blows the “seventh” trumpet? Seven in Scripture speaks of complete. Something has now come to end. It has been completed. Coinciding with this announcement is the reason for it: Christ has conquered and He now reigns! He has put an end to sacrifice and offering. He established a New Covenant of Grace. The twenty-four elders, commonly thought to represent the pioneering faithful from both the Old and New Covenants all bow in worshipful gratitude for what Christ has done.
In our highly sanitized West where our meat comes in packets, and blood is “shed” in the sterilized rooms of the Red Cross Blood Bank, it is difficult to appreciate what the Old Covenant constantly demanded. It was bloody. It was noisy. It was smelly. It was relentless. But it was necessary. Then Christ came and fulfilled all that the Law, with its sacrifices and offerings, demanded.
We so glibly spout that we are saved by grace that we sometimes mistakenly think that this means “at no cost”. But there was a terrible cost. Christ paid it. To be sure, we do not pay it in order to receive salvation, but there is still a cost for the believer to pay (albeit a different type of cost in which Christ said we must take up our own cross daily and follow Him).
The Old Covenant with its sacrifices, temple, and ark of the covenant were but a shadow of a heavenly reality that pointed to Christ not just as the fulfilment of those things, but as the One who has conquered sin, the world, the devil and death. For this reason, heaven is now “open” to all who put their trust in Christ as their Saviour, and acknowledge that Jesus now reigns as Lord God Almighty.