Series: The Radical Call of Jesus
Message: Radical Implications
Preacher: Japhet De Oliveira
Daily Walk: Japhet De Oliveira
Refresh: Open with prayer. Read or listen to Psalm 105:12–15.
Read: Revelation 15:5–18:24 (NLT). As you read the New Living Translation, note 1–3 insights.
Reflect: As we read this passage, we should not be surprised that it begins in the Sanctuary. What we need to ask ourselves, or remind ourselves, is what exactly was happening in the First Testament model of the Sanctuary that John was referring to here. Jacques B. Doukhan, in Secrets of Revelation, shares a deep appreciation for the First Testament context and gives this insight:
After this vision of victory, the prophet looks back to the seven angels before they start their task of devastation. The prophets see them emerging from the template clad in the priestly garb traditionally worn during the Day of Atonement: the robe of fine linen (Reve. 15:6; cf. Lev 16:4). The scene reminds us of the ritual marking the end of the ceremony of Kippur: “No one is to be in the Tent of Meeting from the time Aaron goes in to make atonement for himself, his household and the whole community of Israel” (Lev. 16:17).
And indeed, the temple is “filled with smoke from the glory of God” (Rev. 15:8). No one may penetrate its realm as the service of atonement is completed. The same phenomenon occurred when building the tabernacle has finished in Exodus. The cloud of God’s presence filled the sanctuary, and no one could enter it (ex. 40:35). This passage in Exodus echoes the language of the Creation account. The same expression, “finished the work,” that concluded the Creation account (Gen. 2:2) appears in Exodus 40:33.
The end of the construction of the sanctuary parallels the end of the world’s creation. God honors both moments with His presence. The apocalyptic event points then to the finishing of God’s work of Creation, another way of suggesting the conclusion of the cleansing process that characterizes Kippur. In fact, we have come to the end of judgement. The sentence is sealed, a truth retained in the liturgy of Kippur. The closing prayer of Kippur recited at sunset, the ne’ilah (which means “closing”) the Talmud of Jerusalem associates with the closing o fate heavenly temple. In Jewish tradition, since Kippur is the fulfillment of a 10-day probationary period, it is during the ne’ilah that ‘our conceptions, our destinies, our judgments are sealed.” Interestingly, the word hotmenu (seal us), taken from the ne’ilah, later developed into the traditional Kippur greeting, hatimah tovah, “May you be well sealed!” (pp. 143-144).
Recalibrate: Knowing that those who are “sealed” will not be touched by the plagues, do you recall what it takes to be sealed?
Respond: Pray for the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life.
Research: Typical practices done by families to prepare for the day of Atonement