Reflections on Revelation #5

Day 5

John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood— and He made us into a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” Rev1: 4-8 NASB

What an amazing greeting “Grace and peace to you.” This is a common 1st century greeting. Grace is the Greek greeting, peace is the Hebrew shalom (peace/well-being). As we can see from this reading the Givers of grace and peace are the three Persons of the Godhead. V8 refers to the divine name YAHWEH, referring to God’s eternal existence. Christ is here identified with three titles: “the faithful witness, the first born from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.” These refer to His death, resurrection, and reign in heaven.

The most Amazing Key as we follow this thread to navigate the maze, is Revelation’s portrayal of the Divinity of Christ. In the first 3 chapters we find his name, or equivalent 137 times. There are 25 titles given to Christ in Revelation. Some of these testify to His deity e.g. “The Son of God,” “The Word of God” “The Beginning of the Creation of God.” In Revelation He is worthy to be worshipped, He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is the water of life. To Him is attributed: wisdom, glory, honour, power and creatorship. Titles like the Alpha and Omega, which in Rev refers to Christ, come from the Old Testament references to Yahweh c.f. Rev 1:8,11 with Isa 41:4, 44:6 Isa 48:12. In Revelation we see a shift in emphasis from Yahweh to Jesus. Rev 1:7 is based on allusions to Daniel 7 & Zechariah 12 i.e. His “coming in the clouds.” The allusion to Zechariah 12 is particularly interesting because in Zech 12:7 & 8 it is Yahweh who comes. In Rev it is Jesus who comes. In Zech 12:10 it is Yahweh who is pierced; in Rev, it is Jesus who is pierced. In Zech 12:8-10 they see Yahweh come to Jerusalem. In Rev the whole world sees Jesus come. This shift from Yahweh to Jesus is THE Revelation.The truth that the Apocalypse is all about Christ and His divinity is the golden thread that runs throughout the book and is a vital interpretive key.

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