Summary: The glory of the resurrected Christ is examined and celebrated. He will one day return as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
I take as my subject this morning: The Revelation of Jesus Christ.
That is the title of the last book in the Bible. Apokalupsis Ieesou Christou in the Greek. We get our English word Apocalypse from the Greek word Apokalupsis.i The Greek word is a combination of two words: apo = off or away from. Kalupto = to hide or cover. So the word means to uncover—to take away the veil—to reveal.ii This book is a revelation (a revealing) of Jesus Christ. Scholars disagree as to whether this is a revelation from Christ (subjective genitive) or a revelation of or about Christ (objective genitive) or whether the author intended both meanings (plenary genitive).iii There is no way of being sure. However, we can see the same phrase in other New Testament passages where the meaning is clearly a revealing of Christ. I won’t take you to those passages right now but the references are in your notes.iv What I want us to do first is to see:
I. Christ as He is revealed in the book of Revelation.
John writes in Revelation 1:10 “I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, 11 saying, ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,’v So Jesus identifies Himself with the phrase the First and the Last. As a good Jew, John would have immediately interpreted that in the light of Isa 48:12-13 where the Lord says, “Listen to Me, O Jacob, And Israel, My called: I am He, I am the First, I am also the Last. 13 Indeed My hand has laid the foundation of the earth, And My right hand has stretched out the heavens; When I call to them, They stand up together.” It would have been blasphemy for anyone but God to claim to be the first and the last. Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet: omega is the last letter. He is the first (The gospel of John opens with these words about Him. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.) He is the first—everything issues through Him and He is the last (everything finalizes in Him—we will see that in this book). In verses 7 & 8 the same language is linked with being the Almighty. “Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. 8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End," says the Lord, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty." The revelation of Jesus in this book will unveil the divine nature of Christ.
“‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,’ and, ‘What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.’
12 Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man (John is seeing Jesus standing in the midst of His church-the seven lampstands represent the church (verse 20 tells us that). Eighty-three times in the gospels Jesus refers to Himself as the Son of Man.vi This is Jesus that John is hearing from and seeing. Now John describes Jesus as he sees Him in this revelation. “…I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. 14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow,
and His eyes like a flame of fire; 15 His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; 16 He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.”
Each point of description tells us something about the risen Christ. Our subject is the revelation of Jesus Christ. So let’s linger over this description for a few minutes.
(1) He is clothed with a garment down to His feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. The garment emphasizes the dignity of His office as Lord. Priests, Judges and Kings wore robes appropriate to their office. Jesus is about to judge His church. He will later judge the world in chapter 19 as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Here He is in regal authority. “In the year King Uzziah died (Isaiah wrote) I saw the Lord-- sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple.” That’s a picture of majesty. That something similar to what John is seeing. In Isaiah’s vision, powerful angelic creatures called seraphim were declaring the glory of the king. Their proclamation was, "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!" The Bible says the place shook at that sound and was filled with Shekinah glory.