Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen. Revelation 1:7
So here we are. We are living after the first coming, where Jesus fulfilled the law and prophets. In His sacrificial death, we not only got something taken from us (punishment for our sins), we got something added to us (His righteousness). We are between this time in the past and His second coming in the future, where death will be defeated once and for all. All people will be on one side or the other: Satan’s earthly ways leading to eternal death, or Jesus’s holy ways leading to eternal life.
John, widely believed to be the apostle John, is exiled on the lonely, desolate isle of Patmos for “bearing witness of Jesus” (Rev 1:9). Though old, alone and enslaved, John “was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day.” However, this one Sabbath day was about to rock his world. He hears a loud voice behind him. It is his friend, Jesus, and He has a message for John. He tells John to write “the things that you have seen, that are and those that are to take place after this.” (Revelation 1:19)
This Revelation to John is also from Jesus to us. It is full of symbolism and just as full of disparate interpretations. But the end is clear. The victory belongs to Jesus and those of us who follow Him.
The work of Jesus to fulfill the law and prophets and to atone for our sins has been completed, but sin still lurks on the earth in our present time. The devil still prowls. His ultimate defeat has not yet taken place. We are still tempted by his playbook…doubting God’s goodness, lured by earthly pleasures, desiring power and a name for ourselves. We eagerly await the second coming of Jesus. Revelation gives us a picture of what is yet to come… both for those who decide to take things into their own hands and for those of us who put our hope in Jesus.
Challenge: Revelation 1:3 says, “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.” Commit to reading the entire book of Revelation over the next few days or weeks.