After a 2 week Christmas break, women's bible study began tonight. I was excited about going. I had read and done the homework a few nights before. We have been studying Revelations these past few months. I can admit that I have never read the entire chapter on Revelations because I quite frankly thought it was scary. Partly because I used to be the biggest fan of anything scary and in particular; anything that was scary and had something to do with the bible. For me, the movies the Omen and the Exorcist. These movies from my perspective were directly written by using scriptures or scenes from the Book of Revelations as its backdrop. In my not so trained mind, I felt I had no need to read Revelations because I had already seen it. I know kinda' stupid; however, that was my thinking in my 20's. As I grew into who I am now, I realized that my thinking was pure silly. So, when we decided to study the book of Revelations with our bible teachers I was excited. Finally I was going to learn what the book actually means.
First and foremost, the symbolism written is dynamic in description and in reality. There is a lot of talk about horns, crowns, elders, lions, calves, men, flying eagles, fires, seals, scrolls, good and bad churches, lukewarm Christians, and about no good religious people and no good Christians, crying and singing. The people during this time period are being told what will definitely happen if they choose to not do a particular thing and if they still choose not to do the thing then the results will be certain and catastrophic. The 7 churches was described for the attributes or lack thereof and they were righteously put in their collective places.
Tonight what stood our for me was the fact that our God sent his one and only son to be slain/slaughtered for our sons. This man was Jesus who was walking among us as his friends. At the end of the day we, his friends, were the ones who lied on him and persecuted him until he finally perished with us watching. In Rev 5 we are told that Jesus's spirit is found in the lamb. The lamb was a cute creature that families took into their home for 14 days prior to them being slaughtered. Many of these families had small children. The children found the lambs cute, adorable and friendly and quickly named them and adopted them into their lives as the family pets. There came a time when dad said that it was time to slay the pet lamb because we need to get it ready for the family to eat. This thought had to have caused many a kid to run into their parents begging them not to kill Piggy or PK or whatever they named it, because they love him and he won't hurt anyone. What a shame. Imagine would any of us do the same for Jesus? Run up to him from out of nowhere and beg his father to save him. After all, no children or people in general really want to find their childhood pet on the dining room table for dinner. These creatures about to be slain, calf and lamb, would be the children's pet.
This is why the people didn't allow kids to play with their animals back in the day because it would make it to hard to kill the pets. The powerful thing about this connection in thought makes it all the more harder to realize why Jesus allowed himself to be killed/tortured in the extreme manner in which he was tortured. He had to be willing to endure. He did it because that is what he was put here on this earth to do, which is to take our sins. We in turn need to give Jesus total and unequivocal gratitude for all that he has done for us. Sometimes we do, as church, and sometimes we don't give thanks, but we should. There are times when too tired seems to be our middle name or the name we want others to call us because someone else has our back and knows that we didn't just make this up.. Either way, knowing that Christ paid the ultimate sacrifice, his life, it really is up to us to decide how do we want to live the rest of the best of our years.
The teacher called us to realize that Jesus not only was the only one, he was the willing one and what would we have done if in fact he was not willing. Where would be? There is a portion in Revelations that talks about the opening of the seven seals and before the lamb, Jesus who was slain, there was no one else that could open the seals to reveal and uncover what is in the book of life. What would happen if he chose not to do it, no one knows because thankfully he was up to the task.