Start with Luke 24 & Acts 1 – why is it so obvious to the Angels that Jesus is not among the dead, but it’s not so obvious to the human eye? Why is it so obvious to the Angels that Jesus will come back, but it’s not so obvious to the Apostles who are staring into the sky? There is what I will call an “obvious gap”. The Angels are seeing the unseen, seeing behind the curtain.
In Revelation Ch. 1, John the Revelator invites us to look behind the curtain and see Jesus the way he saw him. Jesus is described by John in a beautiful and layered way. He sees a vision of Christ, which invites us to view the Easter story from a broader perspective.
The “key” statement for this lesson is Rev. 1:18 – “I was dead, and now I am alive forever and ever. I have the keys of Death and Hades.” Jesus has the keys! The one who has the keys has the authority.
Revelation Ch. 1
New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition
Introduction and Salutation
1 The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place, and he made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2 who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw.
3 Blessed is the one who reads the words of the prophecy, and blessed are those who hear and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.
4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia:
Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.
To him who loves us and freed[a] us from our sins by his blood 6 and made us a kingdom, priests serving[b] his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
7 Look! He is coming with the clouds;
every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him,
and all the tribes of the earth will wail on account of him.
So it is to be. Amen.
8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.
A Vision of Christ
9 I, John, your brother who share with you the persecution and the kingdom and the endurance in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.[c] 10 I was in the spirit[d] on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet 11 saying, “Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamum, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”
12 Then I turned to see whose voice it was that spoke to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the lampstands I saw one like the Son of Man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash across his chest. 14 His head and his hair were white as white wool, white as snow; his eyes were like a flame of fire; 15 his feet were like burnished bronze, refined as in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of many waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, and from his mouth came a sharp, two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining with full force.
17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he placed his right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last 18 and the Living One. I was dead, and see, I am alive forever and ever, and I have the keys of Death and of Hades.