Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Revelation 2:8

Introduction

Continuing from yesterday, the following verse from the opening chapters of Revelation is likewise, I think, and especially appropriate subject for reflection on this day.

Revelation 2:8

And write to the messenger of the congregation in Smyrna:

The First and the Last, the [one] who became dead and he lives, says these things:


Commentary

The reason for this particular self-introduction from the One commanding John to write, echoed from Revelation 1:17-18, becomes obvious in the following text of the letter to the Smyrnan congregation. The congregation in Smyrna is characterized as being impoverished, being slandered, being made to suffer, being imprisoned, and even being killed (Rev 2:9-10). The One addressing the congregation in Smyrna commands them, by a letter to their messenger, written by His servant John, to become faithful unto death (Rev 2:10b), and He promises them that the one faithfully overcoming the various hardships mentioned above will not be injured by the second death (Rev 2:11). This command and this promise are rooted in, and take their strength from, the truth concerning the One issuing the command and promise. As the One "like a son of man" (Rev 1:13) had earlier comforted John, when he had fallen cadaver-like at His feet, with a word concerning His Person and Work, this One now comforts the Smyrnan believers, who are facing (and will face) grave hardship and even death, with the good news of who He is and what He has done. Because He is the transcendent, eternal, ever-living One, because He became dead but now lives, He can guarantee that the second death will not be able to harm the faithful, victorious ones at all.

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