A Bittersweet Scroll

beach_15979c“The radiance of the angel’s appearance marks him as one who bears the image of his Master, reflecting the Master’s glory as he brings the Master’s message. . . . Throughout Revelation angels are superhuman servants of God, doing his bidding and carrying his revelation to the embattled saints on earth.” (Dennis E. Johnson, Triumph of the Lamb, p. 158).

“Also included in the metaphor of the scroll is the idea that the sweetness refers to God’s redemptive grace in the gospel to those believing and the bitterness to the fact that this grace must be experienced in the crucible of suffering (cf. 2 Cor. 2:15–16), since the little scroll connotes the Christian’s purposes on a small scale in imitation of the large-scale purposes of Christ signified by the larger book of ch. 5. . . . Perhaps sweetness and bitterness simply represent redemption and judgment. . . .” (G. K. Beale, The Book of Revelation, p. 552).

“Although the Lamb’s redeemed people are drawn from ‘every tribe and tongue and people and nation,’ from this same group are drawn the enemies of the Lamb, destined for destruction. John’s prophecy concerning the nations is indeed bittersweet.” (Dennis E. Johnson, Triumph of the Lamb, p. 164).

Quotes used in the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church of the OPC.

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