Revelation 14:14–20 (ESV)
The Harvest of the Earth
14 Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and seated on the cloud one like a son of man, with a golden crown on his head, and a sharp sickle in his hand. 15 And another angel came out of the temple, calling with a loud voice to him who sat on the
cloud, “Put in your sickle, and reap, for the hour to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is fully ripe.” 16 So he who sat on the cloud swung his sickle across the earth, and the earth was reaped.
17 Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. 18 And another angel came out from the altar, the angel who has authority over the fire, and he called with a loud voice to the one who had the sharp sickle, “Put
in your sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, for its grapes are ripe.” 19 So the angel swung his sickle across the earth and gathered the grape harvest of the earth and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. 20 And
the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood flowed from the winepress, as high as a horse’s bridle, for 1,600 stadia.
When reading Revelation, the judgement process seems to take forever,
but remember that Jesus says it takes place in the twinkling of an eye. The vision is showing different pieces of pie. It is one pie, but different perspectives. We are moving into the judgement phase. To those whose name is not written
into the Book of Life, the judgement is NOT good. To those whose name is written in the Book of Life, you need not worry about the judgement and God’s wrath. The believer’s blood will not be poured out, since through faith, the
blood that was poured out for believers was poured out on the Cross. In today’s reading, the sickles go flying. A sickle is used for harvesting. It has a long curved blade attached to a handle. Some have short handles and are
used with one hand while some have long handles and are swung with two hands. Here, the harvest is grapes, although the harvest is really the unbelievers. The grapes are taken to a winepress. The old style of extracting the juice in a wine
press is by people getting into a large press (kind of like a large kiddie pool) and stomping on the grapes with bare feet. The grapes are turn to mash, as the juice fills up the press. A good example of this is in the movie “A Walk in the
Clouds.” This is figurative, because if you were pressing the blood out of people, they would die. Those being judged to receive the wrath of God never die, but they will wish they could die. Hell is a place of eternal torment.
As the judgement is being delivered, we (believers) are spared by the blood of Christ. As I’m writing this, we are in the season of Lent and Holy Week is just around the corner. Jesus went to celebrate the Passover which is a rememberance
of the plague of the first born when Moses was delivering the Children of Israel from slavery in Egypt. The first born males would all die unless the blood of a lamb from the Passover was spread over the doorpost of the house. If the blood was
on the doorpost, the Angel of Death “passed over” that house and went to the next house. If the next house did not have blood on the doorpost, then the first born males would die. The father might be a first born and he might have children...
in that case the first born male would die. The first born males were only saved by the blood of the lamb. In today’s judgement, we (believers) are saved by the blood of the Lamb (Jesus Christ). Jesus radically changed the
Passover Meal when He said “take, eat, this is my body...” and “take drink, this is my blood...”. As a believer, you are saved by the blood of the lamb shed on the cross. Of course this means you
are saved by believing that Jesus died for the forgiveness of your sins and the only way you can understand this is through the working of the Holy Spirit. I pray: Lord, thank you for saving me. My baptism, faith, forgiveness, reconciliation
into the Kingdom of God, all comes from you. Thank your for your precious gift. Help me to share this gift with others. Amen.