Beginning of the New Creation

Revelation looks forward to the undisputed reign of Jesus in the New Creation, a reality inaugurated by his Death and Resurrection

Alps, Italy - Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Unsplash
In 
Revelation, Jesus is declared to be the “beginning of the creation of God.” That is, in his Death and Resurrection, he became the inaugurator of the New Creation. The same passage calls him the “Amenthe faithful and true witness,” and in the present tense; he already possesses all of these attributes - (Revelation 3:14). - [Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Unsplash].

His resurrection marked the commencement of the New Creation, and ever since, he bears faithful witness to that reality.
  • (Revelation 3:14) – “And to the angel of the assembly in Laodicea, write: These things declares the one who is the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God.”
  • (Revelation 1:5-6) – “Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the Ruler of the Kings of the Earth.
He is the “firstborn of the dead,” which not only means he was the first of many to be resurrected from the dead, additionally, his resurrection demonstrates that God’s promised New Creation has begun.

The “Amen.” The English term transliterates the Hebrew word ‘amén, signifying strength and faithfulness. Thus, his testimony is utterly reliable. In liturgical usage, it denotes “truly” – that which is unequivocally true - affirming the veracity of whatever is said. The reference to him as the “faithful witness” alludes to two passages from the Hebrew Bible:
  • (Psalm 89:37) - “Like the moon, shall it be established unto times age-abiding, And a witness in the skies, hath been made sure (‘amén).
  • (Isaiah 65:16-17) - “So that he who blesses himself in the earth will bless himself in the God of faithfulness (‘amén), and he who swears in the earth will swear by the God of faithfulness (‘amén); because the former troubles have been forgotten, and because they are hidden from mine eyes. For, behold me, creating new heavens and a new earth.
The passage from Isaiah combines “amen” with the “new heavens and a new earth.” The verbal allusion is deliberate; it is the background behind the clause concerning the “beginning of the creation of God.”

Elsewhere, the New Testament links his resurrection to the New Creation. Because God raised Jesus from the dead, he became “the beginning, the firstborn from the dead”. “Firstborn” refers to his preeminence and position, for the Risen Jesus is the sovereign and heir par excellence of the “new heavens and earth”:
  • (1 Corinthians 15:20-23) – “But now has Christ been raised from among the dead, the first fruit of them who have fallen asleepfor since, indeed, through a man came death, through a man also comes the raising of the dead. For just as in Adam all die, so, also, in the Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own rank: A first fruit, Christ, after that they who are his at his arrival.
  • (2 Corinthians 5:15-17) – “Having judged this, that one in behalf of all died, hence, they all died; and in behalf of all died he, in order that, they who live no longer for themselves should live, but for him who in their behalf died and rose again. So that we henceforth know no one after the flesh: if we have even been gaining after the flesh a knowledge of Christ. On the contrary, now, no longer, are we gaining it. So that, if anyone is in Christ there is a new creation! The old things have passed away, Lo, they have become new!
  • (Colossians 1:18) – “And he is the head of the body, the assembly, who is the beginning, firstborn from among the dead, in order that he might become in all things, himself, pre-eminent.”
Several themes from the letter to Laodicea appear again in the vision of the New Creation when Revelation concludes with the vision of the “New Jerusalem”:
  • (Revelation 21:1-6) – “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth have passed away, and the sea is no more. And the holy city, new Jerusalem saw I descending from God to the earth out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband… The first things have passed away. And he that was sitting upon the throne said: Lo, I make all things new. And he said: Write! Because these words are faithful and true.  And he said to me, It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I, to him that is thirsting, will give of the fountain of the water of life freely.
Thus, Revelation looks forward to the victory of the “Lamb” in the New Creation, a reality inaugurated by his Death and Resurrection, and one that will culminate in the “new heavens and the new earth.” All this will result from the faithfulness of Jesus unto death and his subsequent resurrection. He is, therefore, the “Beginning of the Creation of God.”

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