Saturday, August 21, 2010
The Word for today:
Zechariah 5, 6
The book of Zechariah is wild. Wild, I tell you.
But even those who haven't read it before will find it vaguely familiar.
That's because so many of us have been exposed (even over-exposed) to the book of Revelation, which seems to have borrowed Zechariah's atmospherics.
The highly symbolic and figurative language of these two books lends them a cinematic quality that appeals to our graphics-driven era. I mean, these books cry out to be brought to the local magaplex. I mean, IMAX at least.
All well and good, as long as we can see through and past the special effects to heart of the matter.
Zechariah, Revelation, Ezekiel, Jesus' Olivet Discourse (1) and, to some extent, the book of Daniel are known as apocalyptic literature. The term is taken from the opening words of the book of Revelation:
The revelation of Jesus Christ...
The word revelation is, in the Greek original, apokálypsis. It means a lifting of the veil--a revealing of what had been hidden. Because the word is taken from the opening words of the Bible's final book, it has also come to be associated with--but not confined to--the end times.
As long as we remember that Revelation isn't about the beast; that Ezekiel chapter 1 isn't about wheels and wings and lions and lamps; that Zechariah isn't about flying scrolls and women in baskets (!);
as long as we remember that these are mere brush strokes in the emerging portrait of Jesus Christ;
and as long as we remember that, from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21, the Bible's one and only purpose is the revelation of Jesus Christ, then we won't, as Bible students, be Left Behind.
(1) see Matthew 24-25; Mark 13; Luke 21