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Revelation 22:7-21



“Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End …


“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”


… He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”


Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

(verses 12-13, 16, 20)

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The continuum of time seems to radically flex and stretch in this final portion of John’s vision.


Much of it surrounds Jesus himself. He tells us, “I am coming soon!” In fact, he states it two times over – clearly, purposefully, indeed eagerly. It’s as if he is standing right at the door, counting the minutes, ready to burst through.


That bold statement was first recorded by the Apostle John some 2000 years ago, which certainly stretches the human perspective of “soon.” But it’s a valid stretch, for the One who spoke it lives in the context of eternity. Simultaneously, he inhabits eternity past and eternity future in a way I can’t even get my mind around.


This stretching and warping of human conceptions of time is captured by his very names. Profoundly he says, “I am the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”Each title covers the same territory, communicating three times over his priority of rank and infinite capacity throughout all time and space. He was there when human time began, and he will be there when it ends. Indeed, “In the beginning” he already was (as John tells us at the start of his Gospel), and he lives into every aspect of “forever and ever,” reigning supreme. He knows the end from the beginning, but more. He so completely holds both in his hands, firmly encompassing every aspect, owning it all fully, that when he says, “I am … the Beginning and the End,” it’s simply plain truth.


So, for this One to say he is coming “soon” focuses us less on minutes and days, and more clearly on the certainty of the next stage of salvation history. He is coming; it is certain – he is coming, indeed!


The warping and stretching of time continue with Jesus’ second set of titles. That he is the “the Root and Offspring of David” fulfills ancient Messianic prophecy, rooting Jesus firmly in historical time – he is the descendant of David, the King. Yet he is also “the bright Morning Star,” another fulfillment of prophecy, implying that he brings an absolutely new dawn – the opening of eternity.


Which is indeed the great hope. We long for that day when the relentless progress of time will break out into an infinite eternity. C.S. Lewis captures this glorious sense so well at the end of his Narnian Chronicles. Bringing the stories to an end, with the main characters realizing that they have unexpectantly entered eternity, Lewis writes:


“… for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world … had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story, which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”


So may it be. This is our hope. Say it together: “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.”

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Even so, come, Lord Jesus. May your grace be with us all. Amen.

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Reflect:

Take some time to simply settle into the full realization that he is coming. Indeed. Certainly. Absolutely. Commit yourself afresh into his hands.

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Photo by Paul Zoetemeijer on Unsplash

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