Monday in the Second Week of Easter

Revelation 1:1-20

From Humility to Glory

We will spend a good portion of our time during this Easter Season with devotions focusing on the Book of Revelation.  We might say that the great events of world history are the creation of the world and the fall of man, the passion and the resurrection of our Lord, and his return.   Each event leads to the other.  The world needed someone to care for it, and so God made man; the fall of man required someone to redeem him, and so Christ died and rose again; and both the world and man long for the completion of their redemption in an eternal kingdom of righteousness, and so the king of that kingdom must soon return.  In other words, the resurrection and ascension of Christ points towards his return, for what would it all mean if time and this world kept going on forever, and Christ never returned to finish what he started?  There must be an end for it all to make sense; and not just any end, mind you, but one in which justice is established and God’s victory over death and hell is completed.

And so we turn to Revelation, the book of the Bible that completes the Bible, that answers Genesis.  The Garden of Eden is replaced by the City of God, and man, who could no longer walk with God in the cool of the day, is restored to fellowship with Him in a kingdom which shall have no end.  But the Book of Revelation never forgets who this glorious one is who is responsible for the work of redemption.  “To him who … has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God … He is coming with the clouds and every eye will see him.”  The one who is coming with the clouds is the one who shed his blood; the one who made us a kingdom of priests is the one who purchased our redemption by his sacrifice.  The glorious one is the humble one, the King of kings is the servant of all.

But the humble one is also the glorious one.  The description John gives of the Lord is breathtaking, that is, if one reads slow enough to take it in.  “Like a son of man” is in reference to the figure who appears in Daniel 7:9-14, Jesus’ favorite self-designation in the gospels.  Eyes of fire and feet of burnished bronze refined in a furnace, a voice like the roar of many waters – no wonder John fell at his feet as though dead!  But then this majestic one touches him and calms him.  He has all power over heaven and hell, he is the first and last – the eternal one.  He is someone everyone should fear, until he is told not to.  And he tells us not to because the mighty one is on our side.  He proved it when he came in humility and gave his life.  He’ll prove it again when he comes in glory to receive us unto himself.

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