Reprinted with permission from Truth & Tidings Magazine
It had been many years since the day John had shared a fish breakfast on the shores of the Sea of Galilee with Jesus Christ. John had been a disciple of Jesus before His death in Jerusalem. He had seen the Lord on several occasions after His resurrection. He was one of the twelve apostles. Now, in the twilight of his life, banished by the Roman Emperor to the island of Patmos, John receives another view of the living Christ Jesus. Jesus says, "I am alive for evermore" (Rev 1:18).
These five words capture the uniqueness of Christianity and the gospel message. The world is full of religions. Some, like Islam and Buddhism, have billions of followers. Some have only a few devotees, but all of the world’s religions at their core are about what man can do to gain God’s favor. They are based on the writings of men long dead. Christianity is about what God has done for us through the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. Christianity is based on a living Savior.
The words, "I am alive for evermore" should startle and amaze us. Resurrection is not normal in human affairs. All humanity is under a death sentence. Graveyards abound in every city. Death, which is the result of sin, is all around us. The Bible makes clear that "the wages of sin is death" (Rom 6:23). "Death has passed upon all men because all have sinned" (Rom 5:12) and is the future of every man and woman born into our world. "It is appointed unto man once to die but after this the judgment" (Heb 9:27).
To see a resurrected Man is stunning. But to understand Who this Man is, Who was once dead, is even more amazing. This was God’s Son, Jesus Christ, Who died. The Lord Jesus is the source of all life and the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. As the Son of God, He is perfectly righteous. Death had no claim on Him because He never sinned. Yet, in a move transcending human thought, the Son of God voluntarily died, having suffered the wrath of God for our sins. "Christ died for our sins" (1 Cor 15:3). Again, "He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself" (Heb 9:26). Christ died so that your sins could be forgiven.
Although He died, Christ rose from the dead on the third day. "Behold I am alive for evermore." "God raised Him up" (Acts 2:24). "He was buried, and He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures" (1 Cor 15:4). By raising Jesus, God was declaring His complete satisfaction with the work of Jesus Christ. He confirmed His identity as the Son of God. The resurrection demonstrated God’s acceptance of the death of Christ on our behalf. The work of salvation is finished. The Savior has conquered death and lives again!
Christ is alive "for evermore." The death of Jesus provided eternal redemption. The work of Christ will never become obsolete, lose its effectiveness, or fail to satisfy God’s righteousness. The sacrifice of Christ will never need to be repeated. It is an eternal work.
John was called upon to "behold," to look upon, this risen Man. You must also respond to the Living One. His resurrection guarantees that you will meet Him – either as Judge or Savior. Christianity is about a relationship with a Living Savior. Put your trust in Him and your sins will be forgiven.
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