Revelation in Easter As promised,


Revelation in Easter

As promised, now is later, and I would like to reflect for a while on the question of why the Book of Revelation (the Apocalypse of John) during Easter Season.

The linking of this book and the Easter Season seems strongly to indicate the Church's view of the book and how the Church wishes us to view the book. Now, early on John himself calls it a book of prophesy--but by that, he may not mean what many misinterpret the word "prophecy" to mean. Prophecy is not simply a prediction about what may happen in the future, although there are elements of that in it--prophecy is always God calling to His people. Much of prophecy is a potent love song, accepted by the people of the time of writing as one thing, and taken by people of a later age as something else. What, for example is to be made of the book of Jonah if one reads the prophet merely as a predictor of the future. Jonah's announcement to the people of Nineveh is very nearly beside the point of the story. What do we learn from this prophetic book? God's abiding love of His people.

Okay, then what is one to make of Revelation as Prophecy. It is prophetic in that it is God speaking through John to each of us in our time of turmoil. If we derive comfort from constructing elaborate schema of interpretation, I suppose that is fine; however, John is speaking to the people of the Church of his time--a time of tremendous hardship and persecution. He, himself, is speaking from exile in Patmos and the constant message of Revelation is patience, endurance, and cleaving to the Way of Jesus Christ. It is the message of the risen savior who will overcome all obstacles and ultimately bring us all to the New Jerusalem.

The conjunction of Revelation and the Easter season speaks very effectively of the comfort and joy we are to derive from the presence of the risen Lord. Revelation is filled with frightening, perhaps even horrifying images--and yet the end result is this remarkable passage:

Revelation 22 1 Then the angel showed me the river of life-giving water, sparkling like crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of its street. On either side of the river grew the tree of life that produces fruit twelve times a year, once each month; the leaves of the trees serve as medicine for the nations. 3 Nothing accursed will be found there anymore. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. 4 They will look upon his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 Night will be no more, nor will they need light from lamp or sun, for the Lord God shall give them light, and they shall reign forever and ever.

And later we will hear the great song, "The Spirit and the Bride say, 'Come.' Let all who hear say, 'Come.' Let him who is thirsty come taste the water of life without price." THAT is the message we should take away from Revelation, whatever else we make of it.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on April 28, 2003 5:56 PM.

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