Bulletin Articles

Bulletin Articles

Jesus, Alive Forevermore

“Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades” (Rev 1:17-18).

This is how Jesus described Himself after John saw the great vision of “one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash. His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire. His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength” (Rev 1:14-16, NASB). The power of this description speaks volumes, and it is this One who is “alive forevermore.”

Elsewhere in the book of Revelation, the Lord is said to be “The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life” (Rev 2:8). He is the One “who lives forever and ever” (10:6; 15:7). Revelation shows that the power of the King of kings and Lord of lords is grounded in the fact that He is alive forevermore. Death and the powers that oppose God cannot defeat Him. His sovereignty extends over death and hades, and these will ultimately be thrown into the lake of fire (Rev 20:14).

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the hinge on which our faith turns. Paul makes it clear that the historical reality of the resurrection is the basis for our own resurrection, and without it our faith would be vain (1 Cor 15:12-19). Yet because Jesus was raised from the dead, we can have confidence that what we do for Him is not in vain (1 Cor 15:58). We cannot overstate the importance of teaching and living by the resurrection of Jesus: “and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf” (2 Cor 5:15).

Because He is alive forevermore, we have a living hope. The Lord “according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Pet 1:3). A living hope is not grounded in a dead martyr, but a living Savior who has defeated death and through whose name alone is salvation (Acts 4:12). Hope is alive because He is alive! This is the hope based upon Jesus who is our “high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek” (Heb 6:20). Our hope truly is an anchor of the soul.

Further, because Jesus is alive forevermore, we have a continual Intercessor who goes to the Father on our behalf. The writer of Hebrews shows the difference between the temporary levitical priesthood under the Law and the eternal priesthood of Jesus: “The former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers because they were prevented by death from continuing, but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” (Heb 7:23-25). Notice that Jesus “continues forever” and “always lives.” Because of this, He can “save forever” those who draw near to God through Him. This should give us confidence, knowing that our Savior lives, intercedes, and comes to our aid in time of need (cf. Heb 2:18; 4:15-16).

The resurrection is what it made it possible for Jesus, after shedding HIs blood, to enter into “the holy place once for all,” and the result for us is “eternal redemption” (Heb 9:12). This coincides with Peter’s point about the living hope concerning the “inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you” (1 Pet 1:4). We need to see that eternal redemption is grounded in an eternal Savior who defeated death.

John wrote, “And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life” (1 John 5:11-12). We can have life because Jesus is the resurrection and the life, and “He who believes in the Son has eternal life” (John 3:36). The promises of God can only make sense within a framework of life and eternity. Jesus died, but death does not have the final word. Because Jesus was raised, we have confidence that we will be raised, and “thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor 15:57). He is alive forevermore!