Revelation’s Exhortations, Part 3
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth.” (Rev 21:1)
The following table outlines some of the comparisons (and contrasts) between Genesis 1-3 and Revelation 20-22.
In Genesis, God gave the first Adam authority over the physical creation. In Revelation, Jesus Christ— the last Adam—is how God will bring to completion His new, spiritual “creation.” Where the early chapters of Genesis tell a story of failure, they also provide a pattern for success. What the first Adam lost, the last Adam (the Lord Jesus Christ) has found and recovered. The Book of Revelation is about so much more than the interpretation of difficult prophecies. It also tells the story of a new “creation,” a new world, to be erected on the foundation of the old world—a beautiful paradise offered to all those who put their trust in our Savior.
“They overcame… by the blood of the Lamb” (Rev 12:11). This is the last reference in the Bible to the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Here it is the overcoming blood, enabling believers to withstand the temptations of the world and to suppress and destroy the power of sin in their own lives. There are at least 43 references to the blood of Christ in the New Testament, all testifying to its great importance in the salvation and daily life of the believer. It should go without saying, that the literal blood of Christ is not some magical potion to be adored superstitiously but that it is a Bible based way to speak of his obedient sacrifice, with all that it includes.
The blood of Christ is described in various ways in the New Testament. Judas, the betrayer, spoke of Christ’s blood as “innocent blood.” (Matt 27:4). Peter called it “the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” (1 Pet 1:19). It is the cleansing blood in 1 John 1:7 and the washing blood in Revelation 1:5, stressing that it removes the guilt of our sins. Paul calls it the purchasing blood in Acts 20:28 and the redeeming blood twice (Eph 1:7; Col 1:14), thus declaring that Christ’s obedience in shedding his blood was the price paid for our salvation. Therefore, it is also the justifying blood (Rom 5:9) and the peacemaking blood (Col 1:20). However, its effectiveness does not end when we are baptized, for it is also the sanctifying blood that remains with us throughout our lives (Heb 13:12), helping us to “overcome.” There is infinite and eternal power in the blood of Christ, for it is “the blood of [God’s] everlasting covenant.” (Heb 13:20). The first reference in the New Testament to Christ’s blood stresses this “covenant” aspect. At the Last Supper, Jesus said: “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matt 26:28).
Without Christ’s blood, we will certainly perish. With it, we will live forever.
Austin Leander, TX