Week 52, Day 3
Week 52, Day 3
December 28, 2022
Scripture: Revelation 20
“I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:4)
I’m certain this is the most perplexing of passages in all of Revelation, and compared to the rest of the Bible, one of the most difficult to understand.
Here’s what I generally recommend: Don’t interpret the rest of the Bible through the lens of Revelation 20. Don’t read Revelation 20 into passages, rather, let what we know of certainty about Christ, the Old and New Testaments, inform our reading of Revelation 20. Doing that, doesn’t alleviate much of the confusion. But it keeps me from deriving from the Bible things it isn’t intending to communicate.
So read and reread this text with the certainties of Christ and his reign and resurrection in focus. Bring in certain theological truths we are certain of, like: Jesus is Lord and Christ, the first-born over all creation, victorious over sin and death and deserving of all my allegiance.
No matter where we are on the millennial theological spectrum, who I declare Jesus to be, and how I conduct my life because of it, seems to be the heart of this text. Again, Revelation is a book about worship. Those who are judged and condemned are those who have given their lives over to the worship of the beast.
Those who are redeemed, trust in Christ.
I don’t intend this as avoidance of the hard translation and interpretive issues facing us in Revelation 20. But rather than get a precise timeline of where we are in history, or how everything is going to shape up and how, I want to read it for what truth it is teaching. We are loved by God and redeemed by the power of Jesus Christ. Trust in Him.
Let that be a unifying interpretative angle to draw us to faithful obedience to Jesus Christ and encourage us.
Hope that helps!
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Jordan Ickes, Minister of Etna Green Church of Christ.