I get that some might avoid the Revelation because it can be pretty hard to wade through. But this morning, as I start in on this final part of my reading plan, I’m thinking that the journey is worth it if only for the opening chapter of this book. While the majority of what was given to John to record are visions of unseen realities that stretch the limits of human description, there are some parts of the letter that are crystal clear . . . among them, these opening verses I’ve just finished reading. Oh, how the heart is stirred as I read of Him who loves us.
John, to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (Revelation 1:4-6 ESV)
For whatever difficulties in interpretation lie ahead in trying to understand this book, at this point, here’s what’s beyond second guessing . . .
A grace has been poured out from the very portals of heaven which allows defiled sinners on earth to know a peace and rest with the triune holy God of heaven. This grace is sourced from the God of eternity, He who is, has always been, and will ever be. It is a grace which flows through the all-knowing, ever-present, perfect Spirit of God . . . a grace realized through the Faithful Witness, the conqueror of death, the One who will one day rule over all the earth. It is grace which, by its very nature, is poured out not because it is earned or deserve . . . but flows abundant only because of Him who loves us.
Because of His great love for us, He freed us from our sins by His blood. The King of Heaven took on the flesh of man that He might be presented as the Lamb of God to offer His life as an atoning sacrifice for our rebellion and transgression. He who knew no sin . . . became sin for us. He who was rich . . . became poor of our sake. He who ordained that life would be in the blood, poured out His own blood that we might be released from sin’s tyranny.
Because of His great love for us He enlisted us in His kingdom . . . ordaining us as priests to His God and Father. Those who were once enemies of God have been made into a royal priesthood . . . a people of His own calling . . . witnesses after the Faithful Witness . . . in order that we might proclaim the excellencies of Him who called us out of darkness and into marvelous light (1Peter 2:9).
A grace that pours out holy blood . . . a grace that purchases from slavery . . . a grace that produces a holy priesthood out of ordinary people . . . all because of Him who loves us.
To fathom the depths of the love of God toward us in Jesus Christ is impossible. It’s breadth and length and height and depth surpasses knowledge (Eph. 3:18-19). But, while it can’t be fully known, it should be fully entered into. Though we may never reach the depths of full understanding, we should, nevertheless, dive deep . . . and meditate long . . . and consider earnestly . . . Him who love us.
. . . to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.