I am taking a course on The Book of the Apocalypse this semester, and I’ve been repeatedly struck by how much this book isn’t about the end times. Yes, there’s rapture and tribulation and millennium. Yes, I believe that Revelation is very much about the future. But we must also acknowledge that the text is replete with Christology. I fear that at times, we focus so much on what we don’t know or what we can’t figure out, that we miss the richness of what it virtually jumping off of the page.
Blended with the eschatology of Revelation, the Christology of the prophecy is the recurring theme… Jesus is presented as the historical Christ, the exalted Christ, the unique Son of God both preexistent and divine, and finally as the great high priest, the Lamb of God. As the Jesus of history, he has 12 apostles (Rev 21:14); he was crucified in Jerusalem (11:8); he rose from the dead (1:5,18) and ascended into heaven (3:21; 12:5). He is the root of David (5:5), the Lion of Judah, and the Lamb of God (5:5, and mentioned as the Lamb 28 more times).
As the exalted Christ, he is the center of the throne room vision of chap. 1. He is the object of the worship of heaven in chap. 5. Seated on his heavenly white steed, he is the judge of all in chap. 19. Jesus is the unique Son of God, while others through God’s special provision may become the sons of God (21:7). Jesus, as in John’s Gospel, is the Word of God (19:13) and is identified as “Sovereign Lord” (6:10).