The Bible is God’s story of how He lovingly, wisely and patiently redeems and restores a wayward creation back to Himself. It is, therefore, not surprising that in the last book of God’s story that the central character of this Redemption Drama takes front stage. We would avoid so many interpretive dead-ends to the Book of Revelation if we paid more attention to Revelation 1:1: It is “the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
The Book of Revelation is above else an unveiling of Jesus Christ in His glory. It reveals Him as the Lamb of God who’s death on the cross redeemed lost people “from every tribe and language and nation” (Revelation 5:9). According to my NIV Concordance, Jesus is called the Lamb 31 times in the Book of Revelation. I think God is wanting us to clearly understand that the key to the plot resolution of the Bible’s Drama of Redemption is Jesus Christ’s death on the cross (see especially Revelation 5).
In the New Testament, Jesus is not only revealed as the Lamb of God who willingly sacrificed His life for others, and not only as the loving Shepherd who cares for His sheep (John 10), but He is also revealed as the Lion of Judah (Revelation 5:5).
As the Lion of Judah, He is not only strong to judge His people (Revelation 2&3), but also is strong to judge the whole world (Revelation 6-20). It is to Him that every knee will bow and every tongue confess that He is LORD to the glory of God the Father(Phil 2:9-11). This exaltation and vindication of Jesus by God the Father not only finds its basis in the fact that Jesus is deity in the flesh (Phil. 2:6a), but also because in His incarnation as a servant, He was totally obedient to His heavenly Father (Phil. 2:6b-8). This is why Jesus is worthy to play the central role in God’s Drama of Redemption.
If Christians would meditate more on the truths of Christ’s Person as revealed in the Book of Revelation and respond to His many exhortations to be faithful, the Book of Revelation would yield more of its spiritual riches to God’s people. It is not a Book which is primarily meant to give a timetable for end-time events.
I know many professing Christians disagree with that assessment. But this is why there is so much confusion regarding the interpretation of the Book of Revelation. When we focus on the Anti-Christ and who it may be, and when we focus on the timing and nature of end-time events, we become guilty of a subtle idolatry. We shouldn’t be surprised that a lot of today’s popular teaching on Revelation appears like the teaching you get in a Marvel Comic book.
In Thessalonians 2:3, it says that there will be a great falling away of God’s people before the Anti-Christ will be revealed. I believe one of the greatest contributors to this will be the sensationalist “prophecy” teachers who will eventually cry wolf one too many times and who breed complacency and false hopes among professing Christians.
Let us take seriously Christ’s words of admonishment as He walks among His churches (Revelation 1:13,20). He is the loving Shepherd of His people, but He is also the Lion of Judah that cannot be tamed, even by His people. This the Good News of Jesus Christ. Pastor John