December 27 — Revelation 19 — Two Suppers. There are two suppers featured in this chapter: “the marriage supper of the Lamb” (v. 9) and “the great supper of God” (v. 17). The first supper is a joyous one for the followers of the Lamb, His Bride, and it is filled with praise to God with four expressions of “Hallelujah!” in verses 1-6. The host of that supper is the Lamb, Jesus, known also by the names “Faithful and True” (v. 11), “The Word of God” (v. 13), and “King of kings and Lord of lords” (v. 16). The second supper is for the birds! (v. 17). It is a tragic one for all who dare to oppose God because they have a violent death and the birds eat their flesh (v. 21). We are invited to that first supper to be enjoyed in heaven with all those who love God.
December 28 — Revelation 20 — Death and Resurrection. There are two kinds of death referred to in this chapter and two resurrections. The first death is a physical one, which all of us will experience unless Christ returns during our lifetime. After this death, there will be two resurrections. The first resurrection to life will be not only for those who were faithful to God in the time of the beast and false prophet (v. 4), but also for those believers who died before us. All these are “blessed and holy … and they will reign with him for a thousand years” (v. 6). The second resurrection comes at the end of those 1000 years (v. 5) for all those who refused to follow God. At the “great white throne” judgment (v. 11) all people will be separated according to whether their names were “written in the book of life” (v. 15). Those whose names were not found in the book will experience “the second death, the lake of fire” (v. 14), which is certainly something to avoid. We, however, anticipate eternal fellowship with the family of God. How is that for a Christmas gift?!
December 29 — Revelation 21 — The Holy City. Heaven will be a much different place than what we are used to on earth. It is described as a city, “the holy city, new Jerusalem” (v. 2). This city is also called “the Bride, the wife of the Lamb” (v. 9). The Church is the Bride of Christ as Paul implies by speaking of human marriage being a mystery that “refers to Christ and the church” (Eph. 5:32). The city is the Church in the sense that it is populated with only the people of God. Its dimensions are huge, a cube of about 1,380 miles (2,221 km) on each side (v. 16). It is the “holy” city mostly because it is filled with God’s presence, “the dwelling place of God” (v. 3). It is hard to imagine a city like that, with each wall gate made from a single pearl and streets made of transparent gold (v. 21), but we shouldn’t be surprised that our infinitely-creative God would have an extremely more wonderful place for us to dwell in than what we are used to on earth.
December 30 — Revelation 22 — Imminence. This final chapter of Revelation and of the whole Bible has a flavor of imminence, meaning that something is about to happen. Three times in this chapter Jesus said, “I am coming soon.” That was over 2,000 years ago! How can that be “about to happen”? Peter echoed Ps. 90:4 when he told us that “with the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day” (2 Pet. 3:8). Jesus’ reminders of His imminent return are to encourage us to be ready and expectant. The first time Jesus said, “I am coming soon” (v. 7), it was to remind us that blessing follows our obedience. The second time it is said, it calls our attention to the coming judgment, “to repay each one for what he has done” (v. 12). The final time Jesus declared, “I am coming soon,” the response for John and for all of us who love God is, “Amen, Come Lord Jesus!” (v. 20).