[reaction to OYB’s Dec. 21-24 readings]
The prophet Zechariah is writing during the time of Darius of Persia, which is after the Hebrew exiles have returned and are rebuilding the temple. John the Revelator is writing during the time of Nero of Rome, which is after that temple has been destroyed and lots of people are being killed for being Christian. Their revelations, thus have a different tone. Here are two examples. They both talk about four colored horses. In Zechariah the horses are pulling chariots and bringing the Spirit of God to the four directions of the compass, while in Revelation the four horses are carrying riders who bring misery to the earth. (And then they end up in Notre Dame’s backfield which seems weird.)
They also both predict the coming of the God to live with us, or God’s son to live with us. Here is what Zechariah has to say in chapter 2.
10 “Shout and be glad, Daughter Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you,” declares the LORD. 11 “Many nations will be joined with the LORD in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me to you. 12 The LORD will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land and will again choose Jerusalem. 13 Be still before the LORD, all mankind, because he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.”
Revelation 12 has a slightly darker take on things.
In which world do modern Christians live? Is it the world that is filled with hope and possibility, or one with hope tempered by the reality of trial and tribulation directly before us?