Reading in Revelation 12 this morning. A lot going on. Great signs in heaven. An impressive looking woman juxtaposed against a hideous looking dragon. War in heaven. The archangel, Michael, and his angels versus the deceiver of the world, that ancient serpent, and his angels. And at the center of it all, a baby.
But not just any baby. It’s the baby. The “unto us a Child is born” baby.
The baby we see, at this time of year, in the manger. The “silent night “baby. The “all is calm, all is bright” baby. But, to read Revelation 12, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of sleeping going on, much less in “heavenly peace.” Rather, John sees a “waiting to be devoured by the great dragon” baby.
O the many, hidden dynamics of the Savior’s birth. We look on a child “asleep on the hay” and long for peace on earth. But, if I’m picking up what John’s laying down, Bethlehem’s birth unleashed an upheaval in heaven.
And what’s captured my meditation this morning is the “catching up” and the “coming down.”
And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it. She gave birth to a male Child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her Child was caught up to God and to His throne, and the woman fled into the wilderness . . . And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come . . . “
(Revelation 12:4b-6a, 10 ESV)
The Child was caught up to God and His throne. And His kingdom came down. The One who will one day rule all the nations with a rod of iron has gone away, but His salvation has come. He is in heaven. But His power and authority are made manifest on earth.
Joy to the world! the Saviour reigns
Let men their songs employ
We live in that in between time. Between His first coming and His second. Having ascended, we wait for His glorious appearing. Because He was caught up, however, His kingdom has come down.
Though He went to heaven, His rule has been established on earth — in the hearts of a redeemed people. Though He stands now at the throne of God, yet His power is made manifest on earth — through His sending of another Helper, the Third Person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit.
And while the dragon, the accuser of the brothers and sisters, was also thrown down to the earth, the devil’s time is short! His forever defeat certain.
Victory is ours because “the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come.”
The Child was caught up. His kingdom has come down.
O come let us adore Him!
Because of grace. For His glory.