The Second Seal (Rev. 6:3–4)
6:3 When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.”
Christ, the Lamb of God, opened the second seal. The second living creature announced the revelation of the second element in God’s plan of redemption through Christ.
6:4 Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword.
The full description of the riders fits perfectly with sin, which takes peace away, causes war between nations, and makes people kill one another.
Fiery Red Horse
John saw a rider on a “fiery red” horse. “Red” occurs many times in Revelation to symbolize the evil that leads to terror and bloodshed: the red dragon (Rev. 12:3), the red beast (Rev. 17:3).
Taking Out Peace
It was granted to the rider “to take peace from the earth” (Rev. 6:4). Wickedness is the reason for taking out the peace of people at all levels. Isaiah said, “There is no peace,” Says my God, “for the wicked” (Isa. 57:21).
Killing Each Other
Wars and fights come from the sinful desires that war in our members (James 4:1). Cain was wicked and murdered his brother because Cain’s works were evil, and his brother was righteous (Gen. 4:8; 1 John 3:12).
A Great Sword
The “great sword” is an implement of bloodshed. It is the influence that greed, anger, and vengeance wield to bring about wars until the end of history.
Some see a paradox between this horrible image of sin and the good news of God’s revelation. But, unfortunately, such understanding blurred the eyes of some commentators, that they do not see anything good in this vision.
We also find what seems like such a paradox in Isaiah’s description of the Lord Jesus Christ, the bondservant of Yahweh (Isa. 53). The Lord Jesus Christ is “the most handsome of the sons of mankind” (Ps.45:2, NASB). But on the cross, He appeared with no form or beauty to save us from our transgressions and iniquities. Therefore, Isaiah said, “He had no special beauty or form to make us notice him; there was nothing in his appearance to make us desire him” (Isa. 53:1–2, NCV).
Christ as Sin for Us
It is shocking but awakening to know that the rider’s image of the second horse represents the image of sin that Christ carried on His holy Body. The paradox overlaid its shade when God planned to make Christ, the sinless one, to be sin for us. “For He [God] made Him [Jesus], who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21).
The second horse rider, the Lord Jesus Christ, had “the likeness of sinful flesh” (Rom. 8:3). The fiery red horse and its rider, the Lord Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit, has the message that the Lord Jesus Christ is “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). He took the image of sin when He became sin for us (2 Cor. 5:21). “Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many” (Heb. 9:28).
God has condemned sin in Christ’s flesh. “For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh” (Rom. 8:3).
Jesus Christ, the sinless one, became sin for you and me that we might become
righteous. He “bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died
to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed” (1 Pet.