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THE LAMB THAT WAS SLAIN

The book of Revelation, or Apocalypse, is overwhelming for most casual readers of the Bible. It has bizarre visions and mysterious creatures. It was probably written in a style meant to confuse non-Christians and protect its message for believers.
In the 1st and 2nd centuries, the Roman government saw Christians as a great threat. The government partially based its authority on the claim that the emperor was a god. Since Christians refused this worship, they endangered imperial power. Examples had to be made to prevent erosion of authority. Followers of Jesus were arrested and executed with the flimsiest excuses.
One answer came from John, a Christian author. He was held on Patmos, a prison island off the coast of Turkey. He wrote a message of hope for believers, but couched it in symbolic terms drawn from the Old Testament. He could not openly write the Sacred Name of Jesus, so he referred to the Lord as the "Lamb [of God] who was slain [on the cross]". He describes a victory celebration for the faithful saints in heaven. The "four living creatures" may represent the writers of the four Gospels.


 
 

an angel appeared to moses faming out of a bush

do you love me

 

ONE HUNDRED FIFTY-THREE FISH!

One of the appearances of the risen Jesus happened at the lake of Galilee--also called the lake of Tiberias, from the largest city on its shores. Peter and some of the others had gone home, possibly waiting for instructions from Christ. Meanwhile they must feed their families, so they have returned to their old jobs as fishermen. Jesus repeats the sign that he had first shown to the Apostles: the miraculous catch of fish.
John mentions that there were 153 fish caught. This number is probably a symbol meaning a complete number. Aristotle had taught that there were 153 different species of fish in the Mediterranean Sea. Thus Peter was given a commission to bring all people into the hands of Christ.

 

despite the great number the net was not torn

© 2000 by Father Richard Lonsdale. You may freely copy this document. It may be freely reproduced in any non-profit publication.

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