Occasionally my head ends up thinking of this journey through Revelation as an exploration of a Museum that puts God’s plans for the future on display. The first three verses are like the big main sign on the building that says, “The Revelation”, and, on the corner of the sign is a signature, “of Jesus Christ”. Then there is an explanatory sign lower on the wall that explains how this Revelation came from God, to Jesus, to his angel, to John, and now to Jesus’ servants. At the bottom of this sign is the promise of blessing on those who read, hear and do what is revealed throughout the Museum.
As we open the door to enter the Museum we are greeted by our tour guide, a fellow servant named John. The first thing he does is place a garland of grace and peace around the necks of each of the servants of Jesus Christ who enter the building. At the same time, he explains to us that this is a gift of grace and peace from God the Father, God the Holy Spirit, and God the Son.
In the Revelation Museum we will see displays of all kinds of terrible things that will happen in the world. Beasts and dragons will seek to destroy the servants of God. There will be times that God’s servants would lose all hope except for this one thing: we keep looking at the garland of grace and peace and realize that God is always helping us through all the bad things we face in life. One day his grace and peace will bring us into the new home that Jesus has prepared for us, and we will never regret depending on his grace and peace no matter how long the journey.
The point is that grace and peace are given to the Museum travelers. It does not say “grace and peace FOR you,” but “grace and peace TO you”. We will not need to look for secret stashes of grace and peace as we go through the difficult scenes of the journey. The first thing that Jesus wants us to know as we enter his Museum is that he lovingly adorns us with his grace and peace for all we will face.
What this means is that we will travel through the Revelation Museum, and through the life that is previewed in the book of revelation, wearing a constant supply of the undeserved favor of God guiding us along every step of our way. We will not be victorious over beasts and dragons because we deserve to be victorious. We will not win victories because we are mighty warriors. We will win because of the abundant grace that God gives us at the very beginning of our journey.
The peace on our garland gives off the fragrance of Jesus’ words: “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” We could say that, because the Revelation is “of Jesus Christ”, that he is continuing to say things to his servants so that we may have his peace. Revelation shows what Jesus meant by telling us that we would live in a world of tribulation. However, he has overcome the world in his death, burial and resurrection, and the Revelation Museum shows how he will overcome the world in the working out of God’s plans and purposes.
Now that I see God’s servants as standing inside the door of the Revelation Museum in eagerness to get the journey started, the garland around our necks wafting up the fragrance of God’s grace and peace must be seen in every section of the journey, no matter how dark and scary it may sometimes appear.
All Jesus’ servants have been saved by grace through faith. That has brought us into a life described like this: “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” If we have peace with God in this way, we certainly can stand in his grace. Our hope will not be disappointed.