GETTING THE MESSAGE/Christ is the way, the truth, the life

GETTING THE MESSAGE/Christ is the way, the truth, the life


The two churches commended the most in the Lord Jesus Christ’s letters to the churches (Smyrna and Philadelphia) were both facing severe opposition. Grace is a flower that often grows best in winter. The Christian life is not lived in view of time but in view of eternity. Tribulation is hard, but temporary. Eternal life is that which Christ came to win for his people. 

The church in Philadelphia (Revelation 3:7-8), like the church in Smyrna, was under tribulation because of the Jews in the city. Many Jews had accepted Jesus as the promised Messiah and Savior. But those who rejected Christ were offended at the claims of Christians and made trouble for them. 

The Lord speaks to assure them of his favor and to emphasize the authority that he has in heaven. He begins the letter, “The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens.”

By identifying himself as “the holy one,” the Lord Jesus is claiming divinity. In Exodus 15, it is said of the Lord God, “Who is like you, majestic in holiness.” Isaiah 40 says, “To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One.” In Mark chapter 1, when Jesus began his ministry, a demonic spirit said to him, “I know who you are – the Holy One of God.”

Jesus had no sin. He was wholehearted in his devotion to God and perfect in his obedience to God’s will and commands. He is the light of the world, and in him is no darkness at all. The holiness of God is his glory and crown. Holy is fixed to his name more than any other attribute. He is free from all flaw in his essence, nature, and actions. “If we imagine God to have the least contagion of evil, we make him to be infinite monster” (Stephen Charnock). His holiness is a pledge to the church that he keeps his promises.

The Lord Jesus also says he is “the true one.” In the Old Testament, this meant that God is faithful to keep his covenant promise. Psalm 146 says, “He keeps faith forever,” meaning he can be trusted in all he says. Christ says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the father except through me.” To refuse him is to say he is a liar, and that the truth is not in him. 

Christ says that he has “the key of David.” This expression refers to the Messianic Kingdom. God promised a descendent of David who would rule over the kingdom of God forever. Christ is the one who opens the door to the kingdom for people to enter in. Back in chapter one, the Lord Jesus had told the apostle John not to fear because he had, “the keys of death and hades.”

The keys are metaphors pointing to the wonders of Christ and the certainty of his salvation. He came into the world to save sinners. He rose up out of the grave, destroying sin and death for all who come to him. His people may face terrible circumstances in their lives on earth, but Jesus says to them, “Fear not little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom.”

The Father is pleased to give the kingdom to them because he gave his only begotten Son to bear the iniquity of all on the cross. The Christian is not promised an easy walk to enter the kingdom of heaven. He is promised entrance in Christ’s name. Christ has opened that door. 

This is a verse we can meditate on this week. Think on how great a Savior Christ is and how great a salvation he grants to us. Think of being without him. He not only said he “opens and no one can shut,” but that “he shuts and no one can open.” If Christ shuts a soul out of his kingdom, that door will never be opened. We need to make sure we know Christ and walk with him.

 Samuel Rutherford said, “I commend Christ for you as the staff in your old age: let him have now the rest of your days: and think not much on a storm upon the ship that Christ saileth in; there shall no passenger fall overboard; but the crazed ship and sea-sick passenger shall come to land safe.”

Powered by Creative Circle Media Solutions