Saturday, May 11, 2013

Revelation 7.1-17

This coming Sunday we will be focusing on Revelation 7.1-17.  In this passage we read about the 144,000 that are sealed by the angel that ascends from the rising of the sun (v2).  We continue to see who these saints are ------ and they come from some of the tribes of Israel.  Then our attention shifts to a multitude from every nation (v9).  Apparently, this multitude has gone through the great ordeal (v14).  Because of this great ordeal their robes have been washed by the blood of the lamb and now God has promised to be their shepherd and to lead them beside the springs of water (17). 

Martyrdom is our scene in this passage.  Utter devotion to the lamb of God has caused this multitude to die for their faith.  Their blood has been spilled at the hands of sinners ------ and now the blood of the lamb has washed them clean.  This scene of the martyrs seems so different then Christianity in America.  The real question for us is ------ does it feel different because we have sold ourselves out to a culture that opposes Christianity?  or is this what a time of peace for Christians is to look like?  The answer to these questions is the one that I struggle with in the 21st century.  I am afraid that the first question is the one that more represents our situation. 

Come Lord Jesus, Come!  Make things right in this world!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Revelation 5.1-14

This coming Sunday we will be focusing on Revelation 5.1-14.  In this passage we begin by seeing a scroll that is in the hand of him who sits on the throne.  This scroll has seven seals and an angel begins proclaiming that there is no one who is worthy to unseal the scroll.  John begins weeping at this terrible news ----- but then one of the elders comforts him by telling him of the conqueror who is worthy to unseal the scroll.  That conqueror then appears on the scene.  This conqueror is "a Lamb standing as if it had been slaughtered, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth" (Revelation 5.6).  The lamb takes the scroll ------ and at the sight of this all of creation begins singing!

What a awesome glimpse that we are given the pleasure to behold ------- a glimpse into the very throne room of God.  Christopher C. Rowland comments on this passage by saying: "The identification of Christ with the lamb, made throughout the book, suggests that an act of witness, at great cost, has turned the world upside down.  The victim is shown to be in the right, and the demonstration of that witness shakes the fabric of the cosmos and its institutions to the core."  In the slaughtered lamb we see Jesus ----- the one who is the conqueror of death and the grave!

Jesus is the one who is worthy to unseal the scroll ------ but with this unsealing there is a shaking of the entire universe.  Everything that can be shaken will be shaken.  True authority and power is found in the one who conquered by giving of his own life.  This shakes our systems and institutions to the core ------ for we see the slaughtered lamb ------ who overcame the world through love.  Now, we can do nothing else then sing of this great love that is found in Jesus Christ!