Summary: Jesus rose the victor on the third day, ascended to heaven forty days later, and is waiting to return. He has sent a message to us in the interim. Think of it as an Easter card!
Jesus Greets You or Easter In Revelation!
(Revelation 1:4-8, 17-18)
1. In 1914, British World War I soldier Pvt. Thomas Hughes wrote a letter to his wife, sealed it in a ginger ale bottle, and tossed it into the English Channel. He died two days later fighting in France. Fast forward to 1999 when a fisherman found the bottle in the River Thames. It was too late to deliver the letter to Mrs. Hughes who died in 1979, but not too late for Hughes’ 86-year-old daughter, who was only 1 year old when her father died — the message was delivered to her at her home in New Zealand. [source: mnn.com]
2. When I was a kid, I had a pen pal in the UK. Always exciting to get a letter form far away. Marylu had a pen pal from Italy. Today, however, we are going to look at part of a message that not only spans time and distance, but dimension; it came directly from heaven.
3. You can think of our text as an Easter card from Jesus.
Main Idea: Jesus rose the victor on the third day, ascended to heaven forty days later, and is waiting to return. He has sent a message to us in the interim.
I. Jesus Sends His GREETINGS to You (4-5, 17a, 18).
A. From YAHWEH
• “Who was and is and is to come” is an exposition of God’s Name, Yahweh.
• This is a good definition of God: The One Who has always been and will be.
B. From the seven ADMINISTRATIVE angels
• The Jews deduced that there were 7 archangels
• We would expect that number because God does things in sevens
C. From JESUS Christ
1. Faithful WITNESS
• All of us must decide whether Jesus was the Lord, a liar, or a lunatic.
• Comedian Steve Allen was one of my favorites, but he was very anti-Christian. He rejects the divinity of Jesus or His atoning work or resurrection, but said this: “Heroic figures invariably embody ideals, but among human heroes, Jesus is supreme. For he not only preached but apparently demonstrated the virtues of compassion, charity, love, courage, faith, and intelligence. To millions he seems perfection in human form.”
2. FIRSTBORN from the dead and the Living One [unlike Lazarus]
• It is the resurrection that transformed the disciples from cowering to proclaiming…
3. Alive FOREVERMORE (18)
4. RULER of the kings of the earth
Application: Jesus greets all of His followers, not just the educated, rich, good looking, young, or spiritually mature. He cares about and bothers to say “Hello” to you. Ponder that.
II. Jesus Expects You to Give Him GLORY (6, 18b). Why?
A. He LOVES us.
B. He freed us from our sins by his BLOOD.
I appreciate the brave men and women who laid down their lives for our nation, our freedom. When people burn the flag or highlight America’s sins while ignoring her virtues, I become irritated at the cynics. But what Jesus did is permanent, will not be undone, and cynics, mockers, and rejectors of the Gospel will eventually be silenced and bow the knee.
C. He made us kings and PRIESTS.
D. His dominion is EVERLASTING.
The Roman Empire, the Holy Roman Empire, the Ottoman Empire – these lasted for centuries. But the clock ticks for every government, including ours.
E. He alone CONTROLS death and hades.
1. I have a good relationship with the local funeral directors in our area. I like them, one and all, actually. But they don’t control death, they simply bring some order at our attempt to properly bury the dead.
2. All of us get to a point when we realize that undertakers, doctors, ministers, and world leaders are just as mortal as anybody else. They may serve the rest of us, but they are just as vulnerable to all the diseases, tragedies, and problems that face the rest of us.
3. Only Jesus – not a church leader, not a denomination, not a ritual – only Jesus controls our destiny. We have to deal with Him! We can only point others.
F. We glorify the Savior by bending the knee, OBEYING, following, and prioritizing Him.
Application: Giving Jesus glory is not about putting on a show or parade; it is about reflecting His character obedience, , being His disciple, praising His Name.
III. Jesus Promises You that He Will Return to REIGN (7-8).
We have a hymn in our hymnal written by Isaac Watts, called, “Jesus Shall Reign” and is based on Psalm 72, a psalm about the Millennium. Yet, most people would claim to have never heard it. In like manner, many fail to grasp that Jesus will return to reign.
A. He will return to reign as DANIEL predicted.