August 22, 2018

Ridge Reading Challenge Devotional Revelation 12:11

So, you’re reading Revelation. You’ve read about the seven churches, the seven seals, the seven trumpets, and the demon locusts, with hair like a woman and teeth like a lion. You know, totally normal stuff. Now you’re moving on to Revelation 11-16. If you thought it was weird before, buckle up… it’s about to get crazy. 

In these chapters, you’ll read about two witnesses, seven angels with seven plagues, and seven bowls of wrath. You’ll also come across a woman, a great red dragon, two different beasts, and a baby. It can all be very confusing. But there’s a purpose to it. The author of Revelation is trying to communicate in human terms about the great battle that is taking place between good and evil. It’s a battle for the soul of every human who ever existed. It’s real and it’s big and it’s important.

There’s so much symbolism in these chapters, signs that represent something greater. In chapter 12 you’ll read about a woman. Who is this woman? She represents Israel (the crown of twelve stars around her head represents the twelve tribes of Israel), but she also represents the people of God. She flees from a great red dragon, who tries to devour her baby. The dragon represents power, strength and authority, and an evil that is trying to assert control. Ultimately, this evil is identified as Satan. 

The child is different, though. The child doesn’t represent something greater… the child is something greater. The child was sent with God’s authority to rule all the nations. The child is the fulfillment of God’s plan to rescue people. The child is God’s son…Jesus. 

 Jesus isn’t a symbol… he’s real. When Revelation 12:11 says: “And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb…,” Jesus is that lamb. He is the salvation of the world. He is the sacrifice that makes our wrongs right. He is what makes victory over evil and death possible. He is what enables us to confront sin and guilt, and overcome. 

In the midst of the confusing symbolism of Revelation, a clear picture of hope shines through. Jesus is real and He wins. Death and sin have been defeated. Guilt and shame and fear have no place anymore, and instead we can experience real joy and peace. The ultimate victory is coming – we’ve seen the sneak peak of that here – and that victory doesn’t just change our future, it changes our now, too.

So, how do we live with that victory in mind? Are you trusting in something else instead of that victory? How can you live and act today like this is real? You can start by making that your prayer: God, help me to trust you more today. Help me to have confidence in You and Your plan for me. I need Jesus to be more real in my life, because I know His victory changes everything.