John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (Revelation 1:4-6)
Thankful For Jesus
There is much to be thankful for what Jesus Christ means to the saved. Redemption is the grace of God allowing sinful man to be cleansed of sin to stand justified before a just and merciful Father. Nothing man has done deserves such love, yet through the blood of Jesus Christ, the joy of eternal life is granted. The story of Jesus is summed up in the words of John in the Revelation. Jesus Christ is like the prophets of old who faithfully witnessed the word of God to the rebellious people of Israel. When Jesus began His ministry, He testified to the message of His Father. Jesus came into the world to bear witness to everything planned by the Father to redeem sinful man. He not only taught the word of God, but He bore witness in His life of the word of God. Jesus was a faithful witness not only in word but also in deed.
Everything about the life of Jesus bore witness to the will of God. Jesus was falsely accused, charged by His enemies of blasphemy, and condemned to die by the envy of the people He was dying to save. His witness was faithful to the will of His Father to accomplish the scheme of redemption. Through His witness, He became truth. In His death, Jesus became the firstborn from the dead. Many had risen from the dead. After Jesus rose from the dead, many bodies of the saints arose from their graves and went into the city of Jerusalem. During the early ministry of the church, miracles and signs included raising people from the dead. Jesus is the firstborn from the dead because He came out of the grave never to die again. The daughter of Jairus, the widow’s son from Nain, Lazarus and Dorcas rose from the dead but then died again. Jesus rose on the third day, conquering death. His resurrection destroyed the shackles of sin and the penalty of death. Jesus is the firstborn from the dead.
Through the power of God Jesus was raised to die no more. He now sits by the right hand of the true and living God, reigning as King over the kings of the earth. Jesus reminded Pilate that all authority came from the Father. The rule of men is nothing before the power of the One who raises nations and destroys nations. All the nations are dust on the scale of God’s wrath. No king reigns that is not subject to the Father. Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords above all those who reign on earth. Pilate, Herod and Caesar ruled the world when Jesus was put to death, but they stand before Jesus as the ruler over all kings.
There is so much to be thankful for when the Christian sees Jesus as the faithful witness, firstborn from the dead and ruler over the kings of the earth. The witness or word of Christ is eternal. His resurrection removes the fear of death. Life is but a vapor to time that removes the fear of what men will do to the faithful of God. The consolation of Christ is knowing there is nothing man can do that will bring fear to the hearts of the faithful. Through the death of Jesus Christ, the saint is a king and priest to His God and Father. There is one word that sings thanksgiving in Christ: VICTORY! He is coming in the clouds. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.