When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.
Revelation 1:17,18 ESV
Jesus reassures John with an I am statement. Verse eighteen speaks to the eternal nature of Jesus. He is the beginning and the end, He is alive! Jesus says, l died but look at me I am alive for eternity.
Jesus then makes a statement concerning His power. He holds the keys to death and the grave. Death doesn’t have any power, Jesus does. He overcame the grave. This statement is central to the revelation message.
Many of the recipients of the revelation will suffer and die for the cause of Christ. To know that Jesus understands and has overcome death and the grave is a great encouragement for those that are or will endure persecution for their faith.
Think of the encouragement John himself took from Jesus statement. John is imprisoned on Patmos and at the mercy of the Roman government. His life is in the hands of the ungodly. Just as Jesus overcame the sentence of death, so too will those that follow Him. Jesus death, burial and resurrection stand before the Christian as proof that those that die in Christ will live on in eternity.
So today, let’s take comfort in Jesus message, the Gospel (the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus) and know that whatever we may face in this life it is only temporary. Continued faith in Jesus leads to eternal life.
© 2013 Leo J. Woodman