Jesus is the key that unlocks the book of Revelation and the prophetic texts from the Hebrew scriptures.
Jesus plays the central role in unfolding the plans and mysteries of God, and only he is qualified to reveal the nature of Yahweh. In him, all the promises of God find their “yea” and “amen.” He is the interpretive key that unlocks the Hebrew scriptures and provides the correct understanding of prophecy, and this is especially so in the book of Revelation.
The prologue to John’s gospel presents Jesus as the logos, the great and final revelation of God. He is the word that “became flesh” in whom the glory of God “tabernacles.” And he is contrasted with the earlier revelation given by Moses – (John 1:14-18).
The fullness, grace, and truth of God are all found in His Son. Moses “gave the law,” but “grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” It is Jesus alone who has seen God, and therefore he is fully qualified to “interpret” anything and everything about the Father.
In the Greek clause, the verb rendered “interpets” has no object. The statement is open-ended. quite simply, “Jesus interprets.” Yahweh has declared His full and final “word” in him, not on Mount Sinai or anywhere or in anyone else.
Likewise, in Hebrews, the “word” of God spoken in His Son is His finished word. In contrast, the “word” spoken previously “in the prophets” was partial and incomplete.
Unlike all the prophets before him, the Son “achieved the purification of sins” and sat down beside God to inherit a “name” vastly superior to that of angels, Moses, Aaron, and all other predecessors:
- (Hebrews 1:1-4) – “In many parts and in many ways of old, God spoke to the fathers in the prophets, at the end of these days, He has spoken to us in his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the ages; who being an eradiated brightness of his glory, and an exact representation of his very being, also bearing up all things by the utterance of his power, purification of sins having achieved, he sat down on the right hand of the majesty in high places, by so much becoming superior to the angels, by as much as, going beyond them, he inherited a more distinguished name.”
In Revelation, Jesus is the sacrificial “Lamb” who alone is “worthy” to open the “sealed scroll.” In doing so, he unveils and executes its contents, a process that will end in nothing less than the New Creation. Therefore, all creation declares him “worthy” to receive all power, glory, and authority, for “by his death he redeemed men and women from every nation to become a kingdom of priests for God” – (Revelation 5:6-12).
The vision received by John is the “revelation of Jesus Christ.” He is the one to whom it belongs, and he gives it to his servants and provides them with the interpretations of its contents.
The “slain Lamb” is the one who possesses all authority, including the “keys to Death and Hades,” and all this is based on his past death and resurrection. The glorious “son of man” is the one who “opens and no man shuts” – (Revelation 1:1, 1:17-20).
Jesus Christ, the “faithful witness and the firstborn of the dead,” is the key that unlocks Revelation and all other prophetic texts. He possesses the “sealed scroll” and unseals it for his servants. And thus, unlike the book of Daniel, Revelation is an unsealed book – (Daniel 12:1, Revelation 22:10).
He is the key to the correct understanding of prophecy and of the “last days.” The New Testament interprets the Hebrew scriptures through Jesus, not vice versa. He is the true and greater Tabernacle and Temple, the founder of the New Covenant, the final sacrifice for sin, the one who overcame sin and death, and the ruler over the Cosmos. The substance foreshadowed under the old system is found in him. In him, all God’s promises find their “yea” and “amen.”