Today we begin our final book in the New Testament – Revelation. Congratulations on sticking with our readings to the end of the year. How fitting that we conclude with God’s revelation of the end of the story of salvation.
For the next 20 days we will be reading in this apocalyptic book (dealing with the end times). John states the purpose of the book in the first verse: The Revelation of Jesus Christ. In other words, this is not written as a guide to future historical events, but as a revelation of Jesus as the Lord of All. In other words the key point John wants us to grasp is “Jesus Wins.”
Chapter One is the first section of the book, and it introduces the theme and the focus. There is a greeting to the seven churches, followed by a vision of the glorified Jesus. At the end of the chapter, Jesus commissions John to write what he sees.
John wrote under persecution, to readers who were likewise persecuted. Thus the language is rather obscure in places – like writing ‘in code.’
But the message that shines clearly through the whole book is that we are on the winning team if we believe in Jesus. That is the truth for us to celebrate today: “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last. I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.”
In other words – there is nothing that you or I face today that Jesus can’t overcome.
Have a great day!