Unlocking Prophecy

Jesus is the key that unlocks Bible prophecy, unveils God's nature, and reveals His previously hidden mysteries

Unlocked - Photo by iMattSmart on Unsplash
Jesus plays the central role in unfolding the plans and mysteries of God, and only he is qualified to reveal the divine nature. In him, all the promises of God find their “
yea” and “amen.” He is the key that unlocks the Hebrew scriptures and provides the correct understanding of prophecy, and especially so in Revelation - [Photo by iMattSmart on Unsplash].

In several ways, the New Testament establishes that Jesus is indispensable for understanding God and the Scriptures. What was partial, enigmatic, or even hidden has been unveiled and clarified in him, and especially in his death and resurrection.

For example, in the prologue to John’s gospel, Jesus is the Logos, the great and final revelation of God that “became flesh” in the Son of God. In him, the divine glory now resides forevermore. And the earlier revelation in the Law is contrasted with the “word made flesh” – “The law was given through Moses was given, but grace and truth came to be through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but the only-born son who is in the bosom of the Father, He has interpreted” - (John 1:14-18).

The fullness, grace, and truth of God are found in His Son. Moses “gave the law,” but “grace and truth came to be through Jesus Christ.” He alone has seen God, therefore, he is fully qualified to “interpret.” The earlier revelation in the Torah was not wrong or evil, but incomplete. God has declared His full and final “word” in Jesus, and not on Mount Sinai or in anyone or anything else.

Likewise, in Hebrews, the “word” spoken by God in the Son is His finished word in contrast to the “words” spoken, “in the prophets.” That older “word” was partial, incomplete. And unlike the prophets before him, Jesus “achieved the purification of sins” and sat down beside God to inherit a “name” vastly superior to that of angels, Moses, Aaron, and all other predecessors - (Hebrews 1:1-4).

Writing to the Corinthians, Paul declared that in Jesus all the “promises of God” find their “yea” and Amen.” And to the Romans, he wrote that the “mysteries of God” that were previously veiled and hidden have now “been made manifest” in Christ.” Moreover, “Christ crucified” is the very “power and wisdom of God” – (Romans 16:25, 2 Corinthians 1:20, Colossians 1:26).

In its opening paragraph, Revelation declares that Jesus is the “faithful witness” and the “firstborn of the dead” who “loosed us from our sins by his blood.” From the start, the book anchors its visions in the past death and resurrection of Christ. This is borne out by the first vision. After seeing a glorious figure identified as the one “like a Son of Man,” John hears this figure proclaim, “I am the living one; I was dead, and I am alive forevermore, and therefore I have the keys of death and Hades.” The exalted position he now holds is based on his sacrificial death and subsequent resurrection.

In the book’s most pivotal vision, it is the “slain Lamb” alone who is found “worthy” to take the “sealed scroll” and to open its seals. In doing so, the “Lamb” began to unveil and execute the scroll’s contents, a process that will end the New Creation. If had not been worthy, the scroll would have remained sealed, its contents unknown, and redemption denied to humanity. That is why all creation declared him “worthy” to receive all power and glory, for “by his death, he redeemed men and women from every nation” - (Revelation 5:6-12).

And this vision has transformed the image of the Davidic Messiah so that the “lion of the tribe of Judah” is now the “Lamb that has been slain.” The one “who was dead, and now lives,” is the promised Messiah, but he fulfills that role as the sacrificial lamb. Rather than slay his enemies, he sacrificed his own life to redeem them.

And often the “slain Lamb” interprets Old Testament prophecies in unexpected ways. For example, the second Psalm foretold how the Messiah would “rule the nations with his rod of iron.” However, in Revelation, this expectation is changed when Jesus becomes the messianic figure who “SHEPHERDS the nations,” rather than the militaristic king who grinds them into dust with his great iron rod.

Thus, Jesus is the key that unlocks Bible prophecy, including the very vivid visions of the Book of Revelation.

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