Thoughts on the Passage
Revelation is a book that was written to be read out loud. It was written not as a story, but as a series of pictures and visions. In other words, it is meant primarily to be experienced not just read. It is like going through an art gallery. We go there first of all to experience something special and from that experience we learn.
This was done for many reasons. First, God has too much to say, so He uses pictures. Pictures have many things that they teach us. Some things are obvious—and everyone sees them in the pictures. Other things take time to catch—it maybe the colors or the shading of the pictures telling a deeper story. Still further examination of the picture gives a symbolic understanding that the painter wanted to get across. Finally, an art historian can take the same picture and reveal deeper understanding that draws in their deep love of this art and the time when the artist painted it.
Second, the book of Revelation is an art gallery. This art gallery contains many, many pictures. There are different wings to this gallery—explaining different things. Within each wing, we see a series of pictures that ties together and describes a common theme. Each picture is beautiful, but the series of pictures tells an even bigger story—the theme of the wing in the gallery.
There are seven wings to the Revelation art gallery. We have seen two of them so far. The first is the Revelation of Jesus—the vision John saw in chapter 1. We did not go through the picture of Jesus in great detail, but if we had, it would have told many things about Jesus. If you wish, go back and look at the description of Jesus—and compare it to the priests in the Old Testament. Look at the description of His features—and compare it to things revealed about God in the Old Testament. We also saw the seven churches. That beautiful wing of the art gallery not only told us about the churches, but it told a great story of Jesus as well.
Now we will be going to another wing of the art gallery—the Throne Scene and the Seven Seals. It is another wing with another theme.
Father, I am amazed how beautiful the book of Revelation is. I read it—and it blesses me. However, there is so much more every time I go through it. I gain new understanding into the pictures, visions and scenes described here. I do not need to go looking for hidden meanings, the pictures just are so rich with layers of beauty to examine that it unfolds afresh every time I go through it. Father, help me not to feel frustrated that I do not understand everything with a few quick walk throughs of this beautiful art gallery. Help me just understand that there is much more that the Holy Spirit—the Historian of the Art Gallery—will show me every time I come here to this gallery. I pray in Jesus' name. Amen.