Cornerstone EPC Sunday morning (7 AM)
Franklin, NC 28734 April 16, 2017
“I AM: Alive Forevermore”
Text: Revelation 1:17-18
Four testimonies to the resurrection of Jesus Christ we have heard this early morning. They declare, in unison chorus, “He is risen, He is risen indeed.” Let’s hear, briefly, an implication of this—and we gain this from the heavenly vision granted the Apostle John.
(HERE READ THE TEXT)
John writes, as led by the Spirit, from the Isle of Patmos, some 35-40 miles off the southwestern Turkish coast. He is imprisoned there for his Christian faith and activity—certainly before September, A. D. 96 (at the death of the Roman emperor Domitian), but perhaps not much earlier (ca. 95). He is in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day—and he sees a vision of the glorified Jesus Christ. He has never seen Jesus quite light this—and his memory runs long, for this vision occurs some sixty to sixty-five years after Jesus’ earthly ministry, death, and resurrection. The sight is unsettling, to say the least.
John, now an aged man, fallen as though dead, perceives Jesus’ touch. Then John hears Jesus’ voice. First, Jesus declares to His longtime apostle and servant, “Fear not.” Once again, we see the command in Scripture that appears more than any other. Then Jesus addresses John by re-introducing Himself—in this case with God’s essential name: I AM. Jesus then moves to list some of His additional titles, such as: The first One, and the last One, the living One, the One Who died, and the One holding the keys of death and Hades. One of the titles, implicit in some of the others, compels our attention today—the One Who lives forevermore. Death no longer holds Him, nor has it the mastery over Him, for He has defeated it in His resurrection. The resurrection tells us that Jesus rose that first Easter morning; this passage, and others like it, assure us that He never shall die again—and this fact, by extension, guarantees our own eternal life as well.
We celebrate Jesus’ resurrection today—and well we should. We also celebrate His ongoing life today—a life both indestructible and eternal. He lives, beloved ones, and He lives forevermore. This changes everything.