(This is Day 75 or so of Reading through the Bible) In case you haven’t noticed, back in February we started in Genesis and have proceeded almost daily through every book in the Bible, the book about the King of kings. (We covered some stuff between the Testaments and took a Passion Week detour through the four Gospels during the Easter season, so we took more than 66 days to cover all 66 books). Today the passage is from John’s Revelation, so if you’ve been reading along for the last 2 1/2 months, you have now read your way through the entire Bible! (If you haven’t, you can always go back and “binge read” on a rainy day…)
In the opening statement of his book of Revelations, John says, “Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.” (Revelation 1:4-6, NIV)
Many people think the book of Revelation is mainly about the end times, and what’s going to happen in the future. While John did see visions about what is to come, what sometimes gets lost among speculation about the future is that John’s visions were really not about us, our curiosity, or our fate relative to the tribulation… They were about who Jesus is. They are about the Word made flesh, the promised Messiah, the King of Kings.
The apocalypse is not just about the end of history, it’s about His Story. Read through the book and you’ll know a whole lot more about Jesus, his mission, and his nature. Do you see him as he really is? If he really is King of kings and lord of lords, are you giving him the respect he deserves?
You can ignore him if you like; in fact you have both the will and the right to make that decision. But what if Jesus of Nazareth is who John envisioned him to be? John saw him not just as a suffering servant who came to be the sacrifice for the sins of all mankind (as his Gospel clearly portrayed), but as a victorious king returning in triumph to rule over everything. The life of Jesus has already impacted history and changed the world, so there’s at least a chance that John’s (some would say) crazy vision was right. If even PART of it was accurate, then Jesus is worth investigating. Read the list below, taken from the Book of Revelation. Then, YOU decide…
1:5 Jesus is the faithful witness, firstborn from the dead, ruler of the kings; he paid for our freedom.
1:13 He is “One like a Son of Man” (compare Dan 7:13–14)
1:13–15 Jesus is the King, priest, warrior, God
1:16 He will wield universal, cosmic power
1:17 Jesus is the first and the last, (compare 22:13)
1:18 Jesus has the keys to death and Hades (cf. ‘key of David’, 3:7), He is the living one
Chapters 2 and 3 He knows the church intimately, and holds their reward or judgment in his hand
5:5 Jesus alone has all authority for judgment,
5:5-6 He is the Lion of the tribe of Judah; He is the Lamb who is worthy
5:6 He is God (in the center of the throne). With all power (7 horns) and all spiritual insight (7 eyes).
5:8 He receives the prayers of the saints
5:11-14 He is worshiped as God
6:16-17 He is frightening in his retribution!
7:17 He is the Shepherd who leads us to living water
12:5 He will rule with an iron scepter
19:11-16 Jesus returns as a victorious and powerful warrior. His name is ‘word of God’
19:16 He is the ‘king of kings and lord of lords’
21:22-23 Jesus and God are the temple and the light of the New Jerusalem.
22:13 He is the Alpha and Omega, the First and Last, the Beginning and the End.
He’s worth your time, He’s worth your attention, and He’s worth your worship.
John’s Revelation spells it out:
About this King there is no doubt!
The Lamb who was slain, the chosen one,
The Son of Man, and God’s own Son;
The King of Kings, the Lord of all
Who rules all kingdoms, large and small;
He’s the Good Shepherd, warrior priest–
The Bridegroom at the wedding feast,
At once the Greatest and the Least…
The Holy One, the closest friend,
He is the beginning and the end
The one by Whom all things consist,
The ruler no one will resist.
The Alpha and Omega who
Was there when everything was new:
If the Revelation’s true,
Then it will impact me, and you.
Jesus will someday come again
To rule His Kingdom without end.
For now, there is a choice for men:
To be his foe, or be his friend.
I think I’d rather choose him now,
For someday, every knee will bow.
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