Reflections on Revelation #70

Day 70 

“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Origin of the creation of God, says this:…” Rev 3:14 NASB.

There are two ways of translating the word “ruler” The underlying Greek word (“arche”) is ambiguous. Jesus is the “arche” of God’s creation. Arche can mean “old” or “beginning,” as in “archaeology,” the study of old things. But it can also mean ruler–the first in the kingdom. Our English word, “patriarch,” means “rule by the father” and “monarchy,” means “rule of one.” So, the word “arche” has a double meaning. 

In the Greek Old Testament “arche” is the first major word in the Bible– “in the beginning God created” (“en arche”). So Rev 3:14 points us to Genesis 1:1. Jesus comes to Laodicea as the “ruler of God’s creation.” He is the counterpart of the original ruler of God’s creation, Adam (Gen 1:26-28). He is the “new” Adam or the “second” Adam (Romans 5; 1 Corinthians 15). He becomes Adam as Adam was intended to be. 

In the creation story, Adam is described in terms of three basic relationships. (1) First of all, Adam was in relationship with God. As the “image of God” (Gen 1:26-27) he had great dignity but his relationship with God was that of a subordinate to a superior. (2) The image of God included both male and female (Gen 1:27). God created the human race for relationships with others, regardless of gender or ethnic background. (3) The image of God also included dominion over the earth (Gen 1:26, 28). Adam ruled over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and the creatures that move along the ground. 

When Jesus came to this earth, He was Adam as Adam was intended to be. (1) He had a perfect relationship with God, obeying everything that God told him to do (John 8:28; 14:28; 15:10). (2) He had a perfect relationship with others, living a life of humble service and self-sacrifice (Mark 10:45; John 13:1-17; Phil 2:5-7). (3) And he had a perfect relationship with the earth and its creatures. Animals and fish obeyed His commands (John 21:2-11; Matt 17:24-27; Mark 11:1-7)! The winds and the waves were subject to Him (Matt 8:26-27). In every sense, Jesus was Adam as Adam was intended to be. 

As the second Adam, Jesus walked over the ground we all experience. Like the first Adam, we have a history of failure, dysfunction, and disgrace. But Jesus has walked the ground that Adam walked. My flawed personal history can be replaced by His perfect history. That leaves me the hope that I can be more like the second Adam and less like the first Adam. 

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