The Book of Revelation is arguably the most sensational book in the New Testament. By ‘sensational’ I don’t mean that it’s just a really good book, though it is that. What I mean is that it is often sensationalized in the literal sense of the word. It is the cause of much sensation and engages our senses: the sight of grotesque beasts, the smell of burning incense, the feeling of earthquakes, the taste of a sweet scroll, the sound of trumpet blasts and the voice of God. All of this can feel like a sensory overload and often leads to confusion, fear, misunderstanding, and yes, sensationalism.
The Revelation of Saint John can feel overwhelming to read. It is apocalyptic, just maybe not in the way we often think. The word ’Apocalypse’ has been sensationalized in our public mind to be some kind of dooms day, end of the world, scenario. Armageddon and all that. While it’s true, the Revelation is about the Last Things, it is not so much about the future as it is about the past. It is about what has been revealed. That's what it means. ’Apocalypse’ comes from a Greek work which means ’to pull back the curtain.’ An apocalypse is a revelation. It reveals what is hidden; it is not the end, only the beginning.
We’re about to begin a bible study on the book of Revelation here at Holy Cross on January 17th at 8:45, just before worship, please join us. Now that my true intension have been revealed and you can clearly see this post for the promotion that it is. Let me go a step further and reveal what the entire revelation is about.
What lies behind the curtain? We’re told right away in the very first verse of this much sensationalized book. Revelation 1:1: “The revelation of Jesus Christ.” For all the strange, apocalyptical and sensational imagery it's just about Jesus. He stands behind the curtain which is being pulled back. And we cannot bear the sight, smell, touch, taste, or sound of him, but he is there behind the veil.
In the revelation of Saint John the revelator there are many actors and scene changes and special effects that can leave us afraid and confused, but the plot of it all culminates in the victory of Jesus Christ.
God is always working behind the scenes. We don't always see him, or notice, or understand what's going on, or what something means, or where the story is heading, but it's always helpful and comforting to know who is working behind the curtain. In our study of the book of Revelation we will not be attempting to make sense of it, but only to see Christ, from beginning to end, just behind the curtain.