The writer of this passage extends a message of peace to John and the seven churches in Asia and from Jesus who had already ascended into heaven.
This verse reminds me of the painting in the sanctuary of my home church as I was growing up. In fact, the mural is still there behind the pulpit. When I lost the thread of the minister’s message, I often studied the mural behind him from the balcony pew where my parents always sat.
It’s of a rising Christ with the nail prints in his hands, only now he’s clothed in a white flowing robe. It’s a peaceful scene, reminding me of what we can look forward to at the end of our lives. Each time I visit, I see that painting and think of the rising Christ as if it were taking place that very day.
The verse, “To him who loves us and freed us from our sins,” (verse 5) shows that we’ve already been redeemed; we didn’t have to do anything to earn it. Now it’s our turn to share the good news of the risen Christ.
Loving God, we give you thanks and praise for Jesus, that we may have new life and look forward to heaven as your sons and daughters. Amen. — CRW