The Living Lord

by David and Stephen Olford

Text:  "I am the first and the last: I am the living one who became dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore" (Rev. 1:17-18).

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Thought:   Unveiled before the anointed eyes of the devout believer is the living Lord. This presentation of His livingness is both a characterization and a challenge to those who have eyes to see. So John, the beloved disciple, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, bids us consider:

1. The Eternity of His Livingness: "I am the first and the lastand, behold I am alive forevermore" (vv. 17-18). John introduces us here to Jesus Christ as the living Creator.  His life was never derived, but was ever existent. He is from everlasting to everlasting.

All material, physical, and spiritual substance has come into being as a result of His creative power. Furthermore, as our living Redeemer, He did not merely die; He became dead in order that we might live. 

2. The Reality of His Livingness: "I am he that liveth and became dead" (v. 18). In verses 12 through 16, John gives us a nine-fold description of the Risen Lord Jesus Christ. In the authority of His office as Savior, Priest, and King, there is a tenderness and affection associated with all that He does. His wisdom is infinite, and the intimacy of His knowledge penetrates the deepest recesses of life. He cannot look upon sin, so He has to judge it and crush it under His feet. When He speaks, He does so with utter finality, and all other babblings cease. In the security of His purpose, every redeemed Christian is held in the hollow of His hand. Such is the vitality of His message that it quickens and energizes those who are dead in trespasses and in sins, and strengthens and identifies those who are truly committed to Him. Jesus Christ is the outshining of God's glory, and the radiance of His presence.

3. The Supremacy of His Livingness:  "I am the living oneand have the keys of death and of Hades" (v. 18). Those keys have always been regarded as the emblem of His authority and supremacy. In other words, only Jesus Christ has supremacy over the power of human death and destiny. When the Apostle John was confronted with the living Lord, he not only saw His glory and felt His power, but he received a call to definite service. What greater honor could ever be conferred on men and women than to go to a world that is dying, and exclaim, "The Lord is risen indeed!"

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Thrust: "He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!"

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