For more than six decades, news journalist Paul Harvey was a familiar voice on American radio. He would say with a colorful flair, “You know what the news is, in a minute you’re going to hear the rest of the story.” After a brief advertisement, he would tell a little-known story of a well-known person. But by withholding until the end either the person’s name or some other key element, he delighted listeners with his dramatic pause and tagline: “And now you know . . . the rest of the story.”
The apostle John’s vision of things past and future unfolds with a similar promise. However, his story begins on a sad note. He couldn’t stop crying when he saw that no created being in heaven or on earth could explain where history is going (Revelation 4:1; 5:1–4). Then he heard a voice offering hope in the “Lion of the tribe of Judah” (v. 5). But when John looked, instead of seeing a conquering lion, he saw a lamb looking like it had been slaughtered (vv. 5–6). The unlikely sight erupted in waves of celebration around the throne of God. In three expanding choruses, twenty-four elders were joined by countless angels and then by all of heaven and earth (vv. 8–14).
Who could have imagined that a crucified Savior would be the hope of all creation, the glory of our God, and the rest of our story.