Wednesday, March 2, 2016

the One who holds the keys

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

Jesus has the keys to death and hell firmly in His grasp. I should not fear. He is the first and the last, my great Alpha and Omega, the God Who made me, saved me, knows me, loves me, never forsakes me, and has secured my eternity in joy forevermore with Him. He is the Living One Who always is and always will be. Yet while I was a sinner, Jesus died for my sins, now raised to conquer death so that sin and its cruel controlling consequences are defeated forever. Truly He holds the keys!

I don't need to fear death or anything in this life if Jesus is my Lord. All things are of Him, to Him, for Him. And anything that happens to me or in me or upon me happens by His full authority, so that nothing may separate me from Him or the Father's love. There is no greater assurance. There is no greater hope.

Lord Jesus,
I know if I saw You in Your heavenly splendor I would fall down like John as a dead man. Yet I also know by the vision recorded here that as powerful and as awe-inspiring as You are, You still are marked by Your love for me. You are still the Lamb Who was slain, worthy of glory and honor. You still offer hope, not by terror or intimidating might, but by being the One Who died and lives again. That is why You hold the keys of death and hell... not to punish us with them, but to unlock their chains from around us.

May I feel Your right hand upon me as I reflect on this freedom, Your love for me, and Your powerful grace and mercy to me. I need this now, and always, for life can pull my eyes from You. May I fear not, for You have taken away all the worst things I have ever had to fear.

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