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The High Christology of the book of Revelation

Last week we began an occasional sermon series on the book of Revelation (audio is here).  We looked in particular at Chapters 4 and 5.  John, the writer of revelation is attempting to put into words a revelation of God on a throne surrounded by worshiping creatures.  Chapter 4 describes monotheistic worship in similar ways to Isaiah 6 and Ezekiel 1 - two great Old Testament visions of God.  The amazing thing is that Chapter 5 puts the Lamb that was slain - ie Jesus - in the centre of this throne being worshiped by the same creatures and in fact all of creation.  That is a very high view of who Jesus was. 

This is especially the case when compared with the fact that elsewhere in Revelation, John was overwhelmed by the greatness of other angelic beings and was tempted to worship them -  and yet he was specifically stopped from doing so.

But high Christology comes through in other ways as well:

God:     I am the Alpha and the Omega (1:8)
Christ:   I am the first and the last (1:17)
God:     I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end (21:6)
Christ:   I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. (22:13)
Jesus Christ is clearly identified with God.

There are even subtle references.  The number seven is important in Revelation - seven churches, seven lampstands, seven stars, seven seals, seven trumpets, seven bowls.  In Revelation, seven can be understood as a number of completeness.  It is significant therefore that there are precisely seven occasions where 'Lamb' referring to Christ is coupled with God (or the one who sits on the throne - another way of saying God).  See 5:13, 6:16, 7:10, 14:4, 21:22, 22:1 and 22:3.

In these and many other ways,  Christ is shown to be divine in the book of revelation - one of its major themes.

David Wanstall, 06/03/2012