The Revelation of Jesus Christ
Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalm 138:1-8 | Joel 1:1-3:21 | Rev. 1:1-20 | Proverbs 29:18
Today’s Scripture Focus: Rev. 1
“Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades” (Revelation 1:18 NIV).
How does one approach a book like Revelation? Some treat it as an exercise in speculation. They are fascinated about interpreting all the details and symbols in light of today’s news and trying to set dates for Christ’s return. Other people get confused by it all, and just try to avoid it.
Let me suggest another approach, one that I have found helpful. Try reading Revelation as a book of worship. Stand in awe of the revelation of Christ in his glory. Stand in awe of the wisdom of God as we get glimpses of Christ’s rule and reign. Long for more of a revelation of His presence here even as we wait for his coming in great glory as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Learn of Him. And worship and adore Him.
Let’s try it. Meditate on the truths that are revealed about Jesus, just in the first chapter. As you ponder his names and attributes, allow them to lead you to praise him for who he is.
In Revelation 1, Jesus is revealed as “the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the Kings of the earth” (5). He is the “one who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and has made us to be a king and priests to serve his God and Father–to him be glory and power forever and ever!Amen” (6).
We look with anticipation for, “Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him”(7).
He is the “Alpha and the Omega who is, and who was and who is to come, the Almighty” (8).
He is revealed as one “like a son of man” in glorious brilliance and beauty (13-16).
He is the one who speaks saying, “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.”
Don’t be afraid to read and meditate on this glorious revelation of Jesus Christ. May you grow in your knowledge of Him. Where the details are clear, rejoice. Where they seem a little fuzzy: stand in awe and worship (later you can come back to gain a fuller understanding of the details). When you see elders and angels and creatures worshipping, allow them to lead you to stand in awe and worship the Lord Jesus. He is the focus of this revelation and of our worship.
Father, open my eyes to the glory of Jesus. May your word open my heart to a fuller revelation of his glory. Let those things that I understand lead me to worship. Let the things that I don’t cause me to stand in awe. Amen.