The Unveiled Christ
The Pharaoh of Egypt asked Moses, “Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go?”
Gold from the earrings and bracelets of the children of Israel that left Egypt were thrown into the fire at Mount Sinai and a golden calf “emerged”.
Different cultures through the centuries worshipped trees, rocks, images made like to corruptible men, birds, four footed beasts and creeping things. Like the Egyptians of old, men bowed their knees and prayed to anything they could find.
If that wasn’t enough, altars existed that were dedicated to the unknown god. Men worshipped there too. Why did they do that? It was partly because they knew God existed but they didn't know much about Him. Those that sought Him found Him, but not everyone sought God. Those that found the LORD discovered that knowing God and knowing about Him was a lifelone process in the sense that they didn't know everything about God there was to know. They had much to learn, not to obtain salvation because those that found Him already had salvation. It was sort of like getting to know your Father or your Mother. You're related to them, but as you grow older, you learn to appreciate them more (I hope).
Jesus himself once asked his disciples who men said that he was. Then he asked them who they thought he was. Peter’s answer has resounded through the ages.
“Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God!”
And that settles it once and for all. Right? We know the identity of Christ but we also know that not everything he did is recorded for us. Not all the books in the world could hold the information! In other words, there are still things about Christ that we don’t know. We’ll know them someday but not yet. Those who want to know more can read more Bible, attend church, study and so on.
I don’t think these things are in relation to his identity. Every day was a learning experience for the disciples who walked and talked with Christ. They always learned something about their Lord they didn’t know the day before.
That was two thousand years ago. Surely, since those early days of the church, we have learned all we can about the Lord. There isn’t anything new? I wonder if that’s how the churches in Asia Minor saw Christ.
They didn’t have the completed Word of God in printed form. There was a book of the Bible here and there that was written by hand, but not all 66 books like we have them today.
From the beginning of the Old Testament that declares God created the world in the beginning, to the bold statement about the creation of man (let us create man…) God unveiled Himself and His Son to the world throughout its history.
By the time 95 A.D. arrived, there were still questions about Christ. Even the beloved disciple John didn’t know everything. Patmos, the place of John’s exile, was also a place of great learning for him.
John was told to write things down in the last book of the Bible, the book of Revelation. The word “revelation” is what it’s all about. It unveils Christ.
This isn’t primarily to scare the world about amazing prophecies. It’s basic function is to unveil aspects of Christ, his personality or his character.
I once had someone tell me they were glad the God of anger in the Old Testament became the God of love in the New Testament. They probably felt the same way about our loving Savior. Look at the record, though. Christ wasn’t always a kind and loving person to everyone he met. He displayed righteous anger on occasion, especially when he drove the moneychangers out of the temple.
It seems, based on Revelation 1:1, certain aspects of Christ himself needed to be unveiled to his servants. We often find ourselves focusing on the events in God’s timetable. While there’s nothing wrong with that, let’s remember how the book starts. It is the unveiling of Christ to show his servants some things they needed to know.
There’s more to Revelation than prophecy. Sometimes we get so close to the forest, as the saying goes, that we cannot see the trees. Is it possible to get so busy serving the Lord that we forget who he really is and about our own special relationship with Christ? Keep that in mind as we study Revelation, chapter one.
Have you noticed how easy it is to preach about everything but Christ and him crucified? I do it myself. That’s food for thought.