To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom of priests to serve his God and Father – to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.
Look he is coming with the clouds,
and every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him;
and all the people of the earth will
mourn because of him.
So shall it be! Amen.
We come now to the book of Revelation – mysterious, epic, hope-filled, glorious. Revelation’s main theme captures our imaginations and passions. Here it is: Jesus is the Victor! Regardless of how things look on the surface of history, regardless of the battles that rage and the powers of evil that are unleashed, Jesus is the Victor! Praise his name!
It is possible, however, to get distracted from this main point by tripping over the details. Down through the history of the church, ever since the Apostle John recorded this vast vision, believers have debated (sometimes strenuously!) how to interpret what he saw. Faithful followers of Christ have come at it from entirely different points of view – some pre-millennial, some post-millennial, some amillennial (and if you don’t recognize those terms, don’t worry).
Sometimes in these ensuing debates it has been easy to forget that the believers to whom John originally wrote, living before the immense stretches of church history that have played out since, found encouragement, strength, challenge, and inspiration from this Revelation, even without understanding it all.
So, as we ourselves enter this journey, let’s keep the main thing the main thing. We won’t delve into all the debates, but will simply read the text devotionally, allowing the Spirit to spark an expanded vision of Christ – his power and glory, his redemption and salvation, his overcoming victory – together with a deeper devotion to him right here and now.
Our goal is to have eyes on Jesus.
So, lift your sights. What better place to begin than with the opening doxology?
“To him who loves us.” In light of the vastly glorious vision that will follow, how good to start with this simple, foundational affirmation – the Sovereign Lord loves us. The Good Shepherd – the one who calls us friend – has laid down his life. Greater love has no one than this. Praise his name.
“… and has freed us from our sins by his blood.” Our Saviour’s sacrifice has changed our destiny forever. We have been set free from sin’s stranglehold and no longer do we stand condemned. He paid the price. We gained the freedom.
“… and has made us to be a kingdom of priests to serve his God and Father.” This is our purpose – this our eternal calling. The door has been opened into the presence of Almighty God. Royalty and priesthood have been conferred upon us, beyond our own deserving, that we might serve him joyfully. What incredible privilege.
“… to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen!” Yes, indeed – for all the ages. May it be.
Having pronounced this powerful doxology, John now lays out for us, in capsule form, the expansive vision of what is yet to be.
“Look he is coming with the clouds …” This prophetic promise echoes throughout the rest of the book. The King shall return. It’s absolutely sure. He is coming again! No one will miss it. Amid the trials of this life, the struggles of faith, and the seeming triumphs of evil, this truth is guaranteed.
Christ is coming. Jesus is the Victor! Turn your eyes on him.
Lord Jesus, I stand in your love, washed clean by your sacrifice, ready to serve in your kingdom, eager for your coming. I lift my sights to you – capture my heart, build my hope, and help me to live for your glory, now and evermore.
Take time (several minutes or longer) to sit in his presence. Allow his love to embrace you. Meditate on the freedom you have received from sin. Commit yourself afresh to serving in his kingdom.
Image by KarinaCarvalho from Pixabay