The Book of Revelation
Jesus Christ Revealed
16 October 2016
The first and last books of the Bible open and close the story of creation. In Revelation, we see the end of things when Jesus is revealed, and creation is restored. This book is, at its heart, a story about Him.
Genesis opens with the fall of Man, the first death, the entrance of Satan, the paradise lost; Revelation closes with Man perfected, death destroyed, Satan defeated, and paradise regained. The purpose of this last book of the Bible is described in verse one: it is "the Revelation of Jesus Christ;" the God-King revealed to all. He is therefore the primary point of this book, and the unfolding events flow on from this.
It opens with a dedication: "Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near" (v. 3). It is not enough to only read, but one must also "hear," or understand, and obey the commands. It is a book therefore, to believers, and foremost not to foretell the future, but to reveal Jesus and to remind Christians that they must live in conformity to His will. Unlike Daniel, who was instructed to "conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time" (Dan. 12:4), Revelation is to be read, "for the time is near." And God promises to bless those who read, hear, and obey - what greater motivation could one want?
We must anchor our interpretation of Revelation in the Old Testament, starting from Genesis, for that is where the story of Man begins, and that is the great story that Revelation builds upon. Jesus' last words given to us are "surely I am coming quickly" (Rev. 22:20). May we always remember to read, hear, and obey.