Astonishingly, it took Handel only twenty-four days to write the orchestral music for the Messiah oratorio—today perhaps the world’s most famous musical composition, one performed thousands of times every year around the world. The magnificent work reaches its climax nearly two hours after it begins with the most famous part of the oratorio, the “Hallelujah Chorus.”
As the trumpets and timpani announce the beginning of the chorus, voices layer on top of each other as the choir sings the words of Revelation 11:15: “And he shall reign for ever and ever.” It’s a triumphant declaration of the hope of eternity in heaven with Jesus.
Many of the words in Messiah come from the book of Revelation, the apostle John’s account of a vision he had near the end of his life describing events culminating with the return of Christ. In Revelation, John returned again and again to the theme of the return of the resurrected Jesus to earth—when there would be great rejoicing with the sound of choirs (19:1–8). The world will rejoice because Jesus will have defeated the powers of darkness and death and established a kingdom of peace.
One day, all the people of heaven will sing together in a magnificent choir proclaiming the majesty of Jesus and the blessing of His forever reign (7:9). Until then, we live, work, pray, and wait in hope.