As we wrap up Revelation, notice that the concluding chapters focus in on a triumphant church. Throughout the cycles of judgement in the middle chapters we are being led to see that the bride of Christ will emerge triumphant through all these trials. She triumphs, because her King has triumphed. He is the rider on the white steed, a sword coming from his mouth, with the name King of kings and Lord of lords emblazoned upon him.
The book ends with a marriage, and it is fitting that John concludes the book with covenantal blessings and curses for those who would add or detract from this book. It is this covenantal language that should help us understand that what Revelation presents is a reiteration of what we read in the Mosaic Law, in places like Leviticus 26. Those who break the covenant of grace will find the seething wrath of God pursuing them, and ultimately God will execute vengeance upon those who trample upon this covenant. However, He provides precious promises of perseverance and peace for those who remain faithful. Of course, it is only by being born anew, in Christ, whereby the church is presented radiant and glorious. Don’t miss the covenantal nature of Revelation.
As we transition, then, to Matthew’s Gospel keep a keen eye on how Matthew spends the first 11 chapters revealing Christ as Israel’s promised King, and then in the second half showing how Israel rejects her King. The lineage at the beginning, Christ’s temptations in the wilderness, His Sermon on the Mount, set us up to see that He is True Israel, and the promised Messiah. However, His parables which confused unbelieving hearts, rebukes of the Pharisees’ hypocrisy, and ultimately His trial by night show Israel rejecting their King. One thing to try as you read is to take notice of all the Old Testament allusions and quotes. Try to pick at least one out every day and go read that passage in it’s OT context. It is quite an illuminating practice.