First and Last

When I saw him I fell down at his feet as though I were dead, but he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid! I am the first and the last, and the one who lives! I was dead, but look, now I am alive—forever and ever—and I hold the keys of death and of Hades!” Revelation 1.17-18

These were some of the first words of the Lord Jesus to the apostle John when, on the Lord’s day, he found himself in the Spirit. John had already registered a word from God the Father, that he was the Alpha and the Omega, in verse 8. Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet; omega, the last.

About himself Jesus affirmed the same thing that the Father said about himself. And the Lord Jesus is he who puts his right hand upon the fainting John. The One who Lives is the same as he who touches and revives his people.

For the life which he has forever and ever he offers to us in his goodness. The mention of his death reminds us both of his suffering according to the Father’s plan and the reason why Christians suffer for him.

The Jesus who holds the keys (power) of death and Hades exercises his right to free his people from death and, when the faithful die for his sake, causes them to live forever.

John wrote the word “Jesus” five times in chapter 1 before the Lord appeared to him. But in all his description of that appearance, it seems that the Lord’s glory exceeds the name by which he was known upon earth. For, as the End nears, our vision of the One who Lives is what will sustain us.

Father, I want to see this resurrected and glorified Jesus!

J. Randal Matheny

Be pithy.

What do you think?