The Book of Revelation holds an interesting place in the Canon of the Bible. It is the last book in the Bible and is often one of the most misinterpreted books. One of the most common mistake around this book is its pronunciation. Many people refer to it as the Book of Revelations. However there is no ‘s’ at the end, it is the Book of Revelation. Another common name for this book is the Apocalypse of John.
In Greek the word for ‘revelation’ is apokalypsis which is why this book of the Bible is often referred to in different ways. Over time the Book of Revelation has been used to predict the future, forecast future ominous events and provide devastating end-times prophecies. After reading through Revelation it is easy to understand how imaginations might be stretched to such lengths. However, in reality the Book of Revelation does no such thing.
In truth, John of Patmos gives everything away in the first verse. “The revelation of Jesus Christ…” Does the Book of Revelation speak to a future event? Yes and this event is what is known as the second coming of Christ. However, it is not meant to be a terrifying look at the future. Instead it is a letter of comfort written to seven churches in Asia Minor (modern day Turkey) who were facing persecution from the Roman Empire. It is written by a man who has already been sent into exile by Roman Empire for professing his belief in Jesus Christ.
This week and over the coming Sunday’s we will take a look at this often ignored and confusing part of scripture. We do so in the light of the Easter season for the Book of Revelation points towards the promise we find in the resurrection.
Text: Revelation 1: 4-8
Questions for Sunday
- What preconceived notions do you have about the Book of Revelation?
- When you hear the word ‘apocalypse’ what do you think of?
- What comfort do you find in John’s opening words of Revelation 1: 4-8?
Prayer for Sunday
Heavenly Father, you have shattered the bonds of death for our sake. As we continue to celebrate the season of Easter we would ask your blessing upon us. Help us to discover what it means to live as an Easter people. In Jesus name, Amen.