Have you ever stood at the cliff edge of the ocean, on a stormy winter’s evening? It’s barely lit or dark, misty and loud, with strong waves crashing below. Standing on the cliff edge makes me feel like I might be swallowed up by the ocean. It makes me feel very small and a bit nervous. The ocean is so loud, strong and powerful. We are told in verse 2 that on the day of the Lambs return the sounds are like the roar of the mighty ocean or rolling loud thunder or many harpist playing together. I imagine it being so loud because so many are present at the gathering. I like that verse 3 says that a great choir sang before the throne of God. It’s a celebration for all that are coming home. This warms my heart because as the scripture says Jesus will returned to take those who belong to him home. John 14:3 says, “When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.”
This chapter is foretelling of what I believe it will be like when Jesus returns to take us home and we stand before the throne of God on the day of judgement. I must admit I have never read Revelation before and this chapter has been so eye opening for me. What stood out to me is knowing the difference between a seal and a mark, because in the end it’s what will differentiate us and signify where we belong.
Verse 1 tells us “Then I saw the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with him were 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.” It’s comforting to know, that as promised, Jesus is with us from the beginning to the end. Even more comforting is that he has placed his seal on us, so that we will be identified and it will be known that we belong to him.
The definition of a seal is to confirm or make secure, join two things together so as to prevent them from coming apart or to prevent anything from passing between them; References to the “King putting his seal of authenticity”; an engraved, a confirmation or a guarantee of something. I love it, because our assurance is Jesus. The definition of a mark is a boundary land such as a line, target, goal or object; References to a line, figure, or symbol made as an indication or record of something. Target, a person who is easily deceived or taken advantage of. Not surprising, since Satan is tricky and a deceiver to all. This really brings to light the term, “Your identity in Christ.” Reflecting on this passage I think that our distinction is the Holy Spirit who dwells in us. Mark 1:10 tells us that on the day that Jesus was baptized, “As Jesus came up out of the water, he saw the heavens splitting apart and the Holy Spirit descending on him like a dove.” When Jesus appeared to the disciples, John 20:22 says, “And with that he breathed on them and said,“Receive the Holy Spirit.” I am forever grateful that when we accept Christ, the Holy Spirit lives in us. It’s our seal of authenticity from the King.