“I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen…” Revelations 1:17-18
While in the spirit of worship on the Lord’s Day the Apostle John had a vision of Jesus Christ. He fell in a limp form at the Savior’s feet being overwhelmed by heightened emotions including reverent fear. John was in the presence of the risen Christ, the living embodiment of all authority and power as He had proclaimed to His disciples in Matthew 28:18. Jesus lovingly touched John and spoke the above words to him – words of assurance and hope.
Let us look closer at Jesus’ exclamation. He said, “I am he that liveth….” John had not doubted that Jesus lived for he had seen Jesus after His resurrection and watched Him ascend into heaven from Mount Olives. This sighting of Jesus however was far more memorable and meaningful. John was looking upon Heaven’s Judge of mankind and the Head of the church as pictured in Revelations 1:12-20. The world will meet the Judge and the church will meet her Head. Are we ready?
Jesus continued His exclamation, “and, was dead…” Jesus, as the Son of God in the flesh experienced a physical death – the penalty for sin. Jesus committed no sin Himself but took the sins of all mankind, you and I included, upon Himself while on the cross. Jesus’ crucifixion was a substitutionary death – He died sin’s death for us and how great was His death. We die once for ourselves but Jesus died for everyone. UNFATHOMABLE!
As cruel and agonizing as Christ’s physical death was His spiritual death was worse. Sin separates man from God and Jesus was carrying all the sins of the world upon Himself. As He hung on the cross of death He hung alone. His Father God had turned away from Him – left Him alone in sin’s judgment. THAT WAS MOST TERRIFYING which caused Jesus to cry out, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46. Think of this: Jesus will never forsake Christians as He was forsaken by God.
Jesus further exclaimed, “…behold, I am alive for evermore…” For a short space Jesus Christ the God man was in death – not alive. Then as promised He arose from the grave – from death – and was seen by many believers. The disciples watched as He ascended to His Father in heaven. Acts 1:1-11. Now many years later John was given an electrifying vision of the risen Christ who will live for evermore and because He lives for evermore so will those who believe in Him. HOW EXCITING!
In complying with the Lord’s command (Revelations 1:11) John faithfully recorded his vision of the risen Christ for the church – for you and I. We Christians should visit John’s Revelation account of his meeting the risen Christ daily and let it cause us to fall at His feet in our hearts. It is this risen Christ that is coming back one day for you and me. HALLELUJAH!