SECTION TWO: JESUS CHRIST – THE FOCUS OF UNIVERSAL PRAISE [Revelation 4 – 7]

© Rosemary Bardsley 2015


OVERVIEW
These chapters of Revelation contain the second of seven parallel accounts. This account takes us away from earth and into the very presence of God. Its focus is on the glory of God and of Jesus, the Lamb.  It assumes the reality of his death, gives an overview of what is going on on the earth between his death and his return, and ends with the perfection of the eternal state.


IMAGINE …
You suddenly become aware that a second huge screen is alive with footage coming in from a different camera. Reluctantly you take your eyes off the first screen, but you are quickly riveted to this second screen. The footage is glorious. And it is completely overwhelming. You don’t know whether to bow in silent awe or to shout aloud in joy and praise or to cry your eyes out. Your heart is caught in this intense struggle between joy and sorrow. Your joy dominates, but it is coloured with a deep and heart-wrenching gratitude. You realize that you are here caught up in something far, far bigger than you could have ever dreamed.

You are looking at God in all his glory.
You are looking at the Lamb, with the marks of slaughter upon him.
You are looking at a glorious company of heavenly and earthly beings united in praise and worship of God and of the Lamb.

And while this is running, again there are multiple sub-screens on which you can zoom in on several aspects of the time from Christ’s incarnation to his return:

There is the victory of Christ, past and present.
There is the persecution of the saints.
There is the physical hardship suffered by the saints.
There is the on-going suffering of the whole world, saved and unsaved.
There is the martyrdom of the saints.
There is the great day of wrath.
There are all the redeemed in their eternal glory.

You begin to realize that what you are seeing here from the perspective of God’s throne is what you saw on the first screen from the perspective of earth: That the glorious Christ who walks in the midst of his church on earth is also at the same time the bloodied Lamb who is in the centre of the throne of God in glory. That the Christ for whose name the church on earth is maligned, persecuted and killed, is the Lamb whose name multitudes of creatures from heaven and earth are even now praising and exalting. That the struggles and suffering inflicted on the church by the hatred of men and of Satan are at the same time the instruments by which their loving God refines and purifies his church. That what Christ promised to those who conquer is here in the seventh sub-screen enjoyed beyond the judgment by all who are clothed in the perfect righteousness of Christ.