Once as a youth minister, I stood before the group with a prize of candy bars. Then I explained the game for the evening. Easter was approaching and I had hidden 10 empty eggs throughout the youth building. The middle schoolers went racing — though I was diligent in hiding — they soon had every egg. With everyone back in their sets, I reached for the prizes. The kids who found eggs held them proudly and started forward. Hang on, I want to know who brought their Bible? Different hands shot up. Those who brought their Bible, come forward, you won the prize!
Outraged cries of injustice… but I was moving to the lesson: Too often with miss the prize, because we focus on the wrong purpose.
This is especially true with the book of Revelation. Why was it written? For years I would have responded, it tells us about the last days. But that is not the core point of Revelation. Those lost in figuring out dates, locations, events… they continue to find empty easter eggs (details Jesus did not even know). Instead we should look for the Risen Savior.
Because, Jesus is the point. The world is full of trouble. The apocryphal style of Revelation allows every generation to find their moment in the pages. And every generation is right (to an extent), but it is temptation to get lost in times and places. Temptation becoming sin when we watch the sky in search of an exit. The world will end and it will fit Revelation. Probably in very surprising ways (if the coming of Jesus is any indication how God fulfills prophecy — the Jews expected something else!).
More than the end, Revelation reveals Jesus is the King at work today. Jesus calls us to live as His Kingdom, as His Priests Rev 1:5-6. This hope, this work is the purpose of Revelation. We are not abandoned, but Jesus has ascended as King. And we are called to join in bringing the world underneath his feet (Psalm 110:1).
Revelation 1:5-6 “From Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father.”
This week we start a new series, Ascending Revelation. We begin in Revelation 1 and our focus will be on our Risen Savior. I hope you will consider joining us Sunday at 10:30 — in person with masks or streaming live on Facebook and YouTube.