…and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, – Rev. 1:5 NIV
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Today’s Devotional is a sequel to the Devotional titled, “Know Him As Your Alpha And Omega” where John the disciple, attempted to describe the personalities behind the revelation he was about to write down in a scroll. He had been incarcerated on the Island of Patmos for offences related to preaching the Word of God and spreading the testimony of Jesus, when he went into spirit on the Lord’s day and was shown all that he was about to write on a scroll, following an instruction to that effect – Rev. 1:9-11. Although, it was initially for the consumption of the seven churches in Asia at that time, the content of the scroll is as relevant to the Church today as it was to those Churches then, and will continue to be relevant to all Churches of Christ through all generations.
He had, in the opening lines of this last book of the Christian Bible, with twenty-two chapters, called Revelation, identified the characters behind the message he was about to write down as;
- The one who is, who was and who is to come, from whom Grace and peace was made available to all men – Rev. 1:4a. This great personality was to later identify Himself to John as the Alpha and the Omega – Rev. 1:8.
- The seven spirits, which are before the throne of the Alpha and Omega – Rev. 1:4b.
- And Jesus Christ whom he identified using three phrases as the faithful witness, the first born from the dead and the ruler of the kings of the earth – Rev. 1:5a.
The prelude to this Devotional delved more on the character of the first personality who identified Himself later as Alpha and Omega, and his relevance to the Christian who intends to enjoy Grace and Peace in life. Today’s Devotional attempts to reveal the character and relevance of the third personality, as the seven spirits mainly function in the role of serving Jehovah – Heb. 1:14. Man must do what these heavenly beings are doing if really he is worshipping Jehovah. They simply serve Him day and night and remain obedient to all His instructions. In these heavenly beings there is no disobedience, and man, having been created in the image of Jehovah, and like these heavenly beings will be expected to do same.
John the disciple, in mentioning the personality of the third character went further to reveal the following;
- That he loves us – Rev. 1:5b. This is not to say that Jehovah does not love man, after all, He it was that gave up His son to die for our sins. The son will not have been able to love us if the father had not approved of such act – Jn. 5:19; Rom. 5:8. That the son loves us also is not in doubt because, even after his coming, death and resurrection, he still did not leave us like orphans as he told the father to send the Holy Spirit (Jn. 14:18-24; Acts 2:1-4), and in his position in heaven, seated at the right hand of the father, he has taken up the responsibility of constantly arbitrating on behalf of all those who have accepted him as Lord and savior (Rom. 8:34; Eph. 1:20-23; 1Jn. 2:1.), an act which enables us to live a life free of the encumbrances of sin. His love is further expressed in the fact that he is never tired of pleading on our behalf before his father, not minding the depth of our sins as he will never reject us – Jn. 6:37. His, is a love that never fails.
- That he freed us from sins by his blood – Rev. 1:5c. That we are free from the penalty of our sins is because of his willingness to sacrifice himself for us by shedding his blood on Calvary – Isa. 53:3-5; Heb. 12:24; 1Pet. 1:18-19.
- That he made us into a kingdom – Rev. 1:6a. By virtue of his status as a king, an honour which he earned when he humbled himself, even unto death, all who believe and accept him as Lord and Saviour, have automatically become a kingdom under his kingship – Phil. 2:8-11; 2Tim. 2:12.
- That he provided a platform for us to be priests to serve his God and Father – Rev. 1:6b. But for his sacrifice, we will not have been able to move near Jehovah, more so serve Him in any capacity. His platform provided us with the opportunity to represent Jehovah in this world, one that is by no means, a small honour. This status was confirmed by the disciple Peter when he revealed that we belong to a chosen generation and to a royal priesthood, by virtue of our re-birth in Jesus Christ – 1Pet. 2:9-10.
All the above advantages became available to the Christian then and today and are expected to dictate the day-to-day activities of the true Christian. They are ever available since the one who conferred it on the Christian has everlasting glory and power to sustain them until his return, which he says is very imminent. That will be one event that all, believers and non-believers will witness – Rev. 1:6c-7.
These above listed advantages are what the one who is being told to serve God and accept Jesus Christ, will always be in a position to enjoy, and are not available from any other source, as there is no other religion or prophet that has made such promise to any of his/her adherents.
Jesus did not just make it, but he also has the ability to fulfil it. He is the one through whom Jehovah continues to manifest his plan of reconciliation, joy and peace for mankind in this realm, and the assurance that He will welcome all who accept him, into His kingdom on the last day. The one who intends to access this divine plan will have to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.
Jesus is able to play this role in the life of the believer and should be so believed because of the following points that the disciple John identified. According to him, Jesus is;
- The faithful witness. The Christian should indeed have faith in the witness of Jesus Christ because he was there from the beginning of the earth. Together with the seven spirits, he was called upon by Jehovah when man was to be created – Gen. 1:26. The Gospel of John confirms that he existed as the Word of Jehovah in the beginning, before he incarnated and came to the world through Mary, the wife of Joseph – Lk. 10:22; Jn. 3:12-13. There is no doubt that he is in a position to know what the father thinks and should be believed in all that he claims to be.
- The first born from the dead – Col. 1:18. All men by virtue of sin committed in the Garden of Eden, became spiritually dead, but with the confirmed resurrection of Jesus Christ after three days in the grave, he swallowed up death and became the first born among the dead, an act that gave man the ability to equally avoid the second death – Rev. 20:11-15; 1Cor. 15:54-58.
- The ruler of the kings of the earth. Everything about him from his birth to his death was about his being addressed as a king. The wise men claimed to have seen the sign that a king was born (Matt. 2:1-12), and those that killed him put a sign on his cross, addressing him as a king – Jn. 19:19-22. However, whereas the reign of the kings of the world come to an end and is restricted to this realm, his reign is over a heavenly kingdom that is eternal – Jn. 18:36-37. With the enormous influence that he wields, he is no doubt the king of all kings.
With such personality, Jesus is indeed deserving of your trust with regards to his claims. The one who claims to know him and is known by him should also live a more assured life of peace in this world and reward of eternal life that he has promised to all those who acknowledge his lordship. Place absolute trust in him and you will not be shamed. May God grant us the ability to live a life befitting of those who know him in Jesus name. Amen.
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