It is here once again: The season in which millions of Christians around the world celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour. Also the season where billions around the world celebrate the arrival of Santa Claus in his sleigh with all his reindeer.
As I was praying about an appropriate series to set off the Christmas season, God placed in my mind something I’ve been impressed to read over and over again over the past few days: Revelation 1.
I can already see you in my mind’s eye scratching your heads and saying, “What does Revelation 1 have to do with Christmas?”
Plenty, actually! Enough for a 20 part series! Some of you might feel relieved, however, when I say this series won’t be that long….
But let’s delve in.
First of all, why would Revelation 1 even make us think of Christmas?
We need to look no further than vs. 1 to answer that question: “This is a revelation from Jesus Christ…” (Revelation 1:1a NLT)
We’re going to hit the “pause” button here. Most of us think of the book of Revelation as being a picture of end-time events. And you are right. It is. In fact, you can divide the book into 4 parts, and by far the largest section is the part that focuses on end times (See chapters 4-20). The last two chapters gives us a description of the Earth made new (See Revelation 21-22). The second section, comprised of chapters 2-3 are the letters to the churches. And that leaves us with chapter 1, the first part, and also the focus of this series. It serves as an introduction:
“This letter is from John to the seven churches in the province of Asia. Grace and peace to you from the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come; from the sevenfold Spirit before his throne; and from Jesus Christ. He is the faithful witness to these things, the first to rise from the dead, and the ruler of all the kings of the world.” (Vs. 4-5 NLT)
But chapter 1 is also so much more.
The word “revelation” comes from the Greek word, “apocalypse”, a great revealing that can be defined as such: “making interesting or significant information known, especially about a person’s attitude or character.”*
Thus, the primary purpose of this book is to make known significant and interesting information about the attitude and character of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ!
Isn’t this the whole purpose of celebrating Jesus’ birth? To receive more and more glimpses of the attitude and character of our beloved Jesus?
Let’s make Jesus happy this Christmas season by spending time meditating on some of the many attributes recorded in this first chapter of Revelation. Here is a list of a few that I found:
1. “…the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come…” (vs. 4b, see also vs. 8b)
2. “…the faithful witness to these things…” (vs. 5a)
3. “…the first to rise from the dead…” (vs. 5b)
4. “…the ruler of all the kings of the world…” (vs. 5c)
5. “…to him who loves us…” (vs. 5d)
6. “…and has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood for us.” (vs. 5e)
7. “…has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father.” (vs. 5f)
8. “…I am the Alpha and the Omega—the beginning and the end…” (vs. 8)
9. “…the Almighty One.” (vs. 8c)
10. A description of Jesus: “…someone like the Son of Man. He was wearing a long robe with a gold sash across his chest. His head and his hair were white like wool, as white as snow. And his eyes were like flames of fire. His feet were like polished bronze refined in a furnace, and his voice thundered like mighty ocean waves. He held seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp two-edged sword came from his mouth. And his face was like the sun in all its brilliance.” (Vs. 13-16)
11. “…the First and the Last.” (vs. 17b)
12. “…the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever!” (vs. 18b)
13. “…And I hold the keys of death and the grave.” (vs. 18c)
There are probably more, and as you read through the book of Revelation in its entirety, you will find many other descriptors of Jesus. My challenge to you is this: Take one of these descriptors every day between now and Christmas and meditate upon it. I can guarantee that you will come up to the Christmas celebration with an entirely new concept of the baby whose birth we celebrate!
Please join us on Saturday for another look at how this powerful chapter from the book of Revelation can give us perspective on the upcoming Christmas season!
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart
Author, Moderator, Acting Director, Answers2Prayer Ministries.
(To access the entire “Christmas Revelations” mini-series, click here)