the living one. I was dead but look! I am alive forever and ever! I have the keys of Death and Hades.Revelation 1:18(ISV)
The resurrection of Jesus Christ was the event that declared Him to be 'The Son of God'. He was the living One Who died, but rose again from the dead. Jesus was the preeminent One. He was the First to rise from the grave - the First-Fruit of them that slept.
Though fully God, Jesus was fully Man... but He was the sinless Man upon Whom death had no hold. He sacrificed His life willingly to pay the price for the sin of the world and Jesus became the first Person to rise from the grave. Perishable put on His imperishable and mortal was clothed with His immortality. It was only after His resurrection that it could be claimed throughout the universe, that, "death has been swallowed up in victory." It was only after Christ rose from the dead that the Father was able to declare, "THIS DAY have I begotten Thee."
It is as John begins to unfold the revelation of Jesus Christ which God the Father gave to the Him... and which John was commanded to pass on to the people of God, that we read the incredible truth in this verse, "I am the First and the Last. I am the living One. I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades."
The vision John saw when he turned to see who spoke to him, was the risen, glorified Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord declared to John, "I am the Alpha and Omega. I am the Beginning and the End. I am the First and I am the Last." The Man Who walked and talked with John and Who knelt to wash His dusty feet at that last Passover meal in the upper room... is the eternal Son of Man Who spans time and encompasses eternity.
He is the Source and Goal of creation. He is the Author and Finisher of our faith. He is the Centre and Circumference of all we are and the Genesis and Revelation of light and life... for Jesus is the living One Who was dead, but rose again and is alive forevermore. HE is the One Who holds the keys of Death and of Hades. What a glorious truth for all who believe. What a horrific fact for those who do not.
The vision that met John's eyes as he responded to the Voice that spoke to him, was impossible to describe. The incomprehensible majesty of almighty God Who had announced Himself as the great I AM... was indescribable. John could only compare the vision to tangible things like burnished brass, dazzlingly white wool, and flames of fire.
It was Isaiah who wrote, "I am HE - I, the first, and I am the last." It was Isaiah who announced, "Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and His Redeemer the LORD of hosts. 'I am the first, and I am the last and beside me there is no God.'" It was Isaiah who wrote, "I am the Lord! That is my name! I will not share my glory with another."
There is ONE God and He alone is to be glorified. The one Creator God is manifest in three Persons; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. But God is Spirit and only one Member of the Triune Godhead was clothed in human flesh and became a Man. Only Jesus the perfect Son of Man had blood in His veins that would one day be shed to pay the price for the sin of the world.
Only One Person of the Trinity was born into the human race as a Man, so that He could live a perfect life and die a sacrificial death, and in so doing pay the price for the sin of the world. The Son of God is 'the Redeemer... the LORD of hosts'. He is the first and the last. He is the Word made flesh. He is the Lord Jesus Christ... and the glory the eternal Son shared with the everlasting Father before His incarnation remained His right after His resurrection - for the Son of God Who died is God the Son Who rose from the dead.
When liberal thinkers and Christian cults refuse to acknowledge the deity of the Lord Jesus... Who as the second Person of the Trinity is fully GOD, yet fully MAN, they destroy the one truth that can save their soul - a truth that cannot be compromised, for only a holy GOD is pure enough to pay the price for sin and break its deathly power. But God is Spirit... and only a perfect MAN of flesh and blood is both able and worthy to become our Kinsman-Redeemer and pay the incredible price for the sin of the world by shedding His sinless blood for us - the Man Christ Jesus.
Only after His glorious resurrection was Jesus able to say, "I am the living One. I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades."
The Lord Jesus Christ holds in his hand two keys - the key of Death and the key of Hell. While DEATH destroys the BODY, it is HADES or HELL that entombs the soul. It was only by means of His resurrection that both these bitter enemies are fully dealt with.. but FIRST a man must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be made alive spiritually.
We are tripartite beings - spirit, soul, and body, and we need to be saved - spirit, soul, and body. FIRST, we must be born again spiritually. It is only as we are born from above that we receive the SPIRIT of life in Christ Jesus. This only happens through faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, for the forgiveness of sin.
Christ's DEATH on the Cross, secured forgiveness of sin for our SOUL but without Christ's RESURRECTION from the dead our mortal body could not be resurrected from the grave. Today, both the spirit and soul of departed saints are with the Lord, but their bodies remain entombed in the dusty ground. Without Christ's resurrection we would be forgiven of our sin... for which we praise His holy name... but we would remain separated from our body forever... for perishable must put on the imperishable and mortal must be clothed with immortality through faith in Him.
But Jesus DID rise from the dead and He announced, "I AM THE LIVING ONE. I was dead and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and of Hades."
Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life for ALL who believe on Him. And a day is coming when the trumpet will sound, the perishable, human bodies of departed saints will rise from their grave imperishable and we will be wonderfully reunited with our regenerated spirit and our sanctified soul. AMEN!
Heavenly Father, what a glorious truth that Jesus is the living One - the first to rise from the dead and that because He lives, I too will live. Thank You that while I was still a sinner You loved me and sent Your only begotten Son to be the propitiation for my sin, so that by faith in Him I might be made spiritually alive. Thank You that You sent Your beloved Son to be born in human flesh and to die on the Cross to pay the price for my sin, so that I may be forgiven of my sin. I praise You that He rose again from the dead and is the living One Who is alive forevermore and has the keys of death and hell. I praise and thank You that He is alive and that I too will rise from the grave imperishable, and live with You through all eternity. Praise Your holy name. Praise the name of Jesus. Hallelujah! AMEN.