Where is the cross in the Book of Revelation?

Any discussion of ‘the cross’ in the Book of Revelation immediately faces a substantial challenge: in contrast with almost every other book in the New Testament, it is barely mentioned at all overtly. Its solitary explicit appearance comes in an extended prophetic narrative in chapter 11: the bodies of the ‘two witnesses’ will ‘lie in the public square of the great city, which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified’ (11.8). The identification of the place in this way has led some to suppose that ‘the great city’ was John’s oblique way of referring to Jerusalem. But it is very hard to think of Jerusalem as the city that ‘rules over the kings of the earth’ (17.18) who made all the merchants of the world rich (18.19). Identifying it as a place of sin and debauchery (‘Sodom’) and a place of slavery for God’s people from which they would be liberated in exodus (‘Egypt’) points to it as being the jurisdiction of Rome—by whose power Jesus was put on the cross. The crucifixion is therefore here described as exemplary: just as Jesus suffered and died on the cross, so his faithful followers, bearing prophetic witness after the pattern of Moses and Elijah, will also suffer and be killed. But like their Lord, they too will experience the victory of resurrection life in defiance of their enemies, and this will lead some to repentance (11.11–12).

Glory and grace

This guest contribution comes from David Shepherd, who is regular contributor to discussion on this blog. Originally from Trinidad, David is an Architectural IT Manager who ‘discovered a passion for “unschooled” apologetics all too late in life’. He worships in Guildford Diocese where is he a member of the House of Laity on Diocesan Synod. God’s Glory is a … Continue Reading

On the cross when Jesus died, was ‘the wrath of God satisfied’?

I recently posted on Facebook a link to the decision in the Presbyterian Church (USA) to drop the  hymn “In Christ Alone” because the song’s authors refused to change a phrase about the wrath of God. The original lyrics say that “on that cross, as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied.” The Presbyterian Committee … Continue Reading