Reading: Revelation 22:1-21
The overriding theme for me in this book is that of the Lamb. In the final chapter we have the final picture of him, having won. We see him enthroned, with the waters of life flowing from his throne, with the tree of life from the original garden standing on either side. His followers worship him, are given the privilege of seeing him face to face and are marked with his name (signifying his absolute and eternal ownership of them). It’s amazing that this is the lasting image we are given of our saviour. Is it significant
Simon Woodman writes,
“The Lamb which was slain is thus a key Christological image employed by John. From the initial surprise of seeing the lamb instead of a lion, through the opening of the seven seals and their consequent effects, to the final battle and the marriage of the Lamb, this deeply subversive image of vulnerability and sacrifice poses a persistent challenge to any who would seek to interpret the defeat of the evil as the triumphalist victory of one segment of humanity over another. The victory of the Lamb is, according to John, won through sacrifice alone.” (The Book of Revelation p.75)
The book finishes with a number of very important statements.
First, we are told he is coming soon! (7,12,20) We are told this three times. The message is clear, hold on, don’t give up, he is coming. No matter what pressure or temptation, we must hold on to Jesus. Second, we are invited to come and be a part of his people. The spirit of God and the bride of Christ reach out offering refreshment “whoever is thirsty let them come” (17). It is never too late; today if you hear his voice please come to him. Finally, we are told that these words are of the upmost importance, they need to be known, not shut up or ignored (10), not added to or redacted (19). It holds the message of the whole Bible that…
God made humanity in his image and he loves us.
Humanity rejected him and worshiped other gods, humanity murdered, raped and did all kinds of evil.
Jesus though in very nature God (a lion) gave himself in sacrifice (a lamb) to redeem those who believe in him, follow him and worship him.
Those followers of the Lamb can never be snatched from him and are eternally safe. Marked by him and even though they may lose everything now, they gain everything when he comes again.
Though nations, empires and ideologies, inspired by Satan and his dark powers will constantly war against God and his people, the Lamb WILL win.
Those who refuse to follow the lamb will be banished from his presence, to enjoy what C.S. Lewis called “the terrible freedom from God that they have demanded.”
“Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labour on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.
Give ear and come to me;
hear me, that your soul may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
my faithful love promised to David.” (Isaiah 55:1-3)
“The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.” (Revelation 22:17)
Father, today I come. In the world I see so much pain, fighting and hurt. I see that reflected too at times in my own life and the lives of those I love. Thank you that you have overcome the world. That you reign, and you always will and that I am safe, loved and held by you. Father, lead me not into temptation and deliver me from the evil one, for yours is the kingdom the power and the glory, for ever. In Jesus name. Amen.
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