“And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as one dead.
And he laid his right hand upon me, saying, Fear not; I am the first and the last, and the Living one; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive for evermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.” ~ Conversation between John and the Resurrected Christ, Revelation 1:17-18 (ASV).
What happened on a Saturday?
We, who choose to believe upon Jesus, will never know. That is the point—all the evil of which our Savior has saved us from, we will never experience [eido] it; we will never even begin to know of it [alpha eido]. Hell is separation from a Holy God. The keys [kleio] represent an unlocking of the gates of death [thanatos: death of the body, of the soul separating from; of the “miserable state of the wicked dead in hell;” the ends of the age for us; “all the miseries arising from our sin”]—Christ alone paid the penalty of sin and death and alone has earned the power from God to shut [kleio] the door of Hell to us, and to release us from its wicked clutches now and forever. The risen Christ—only, has the power to open the way to Heaven, to our eternal Life with God. Upon His determination, His choice, lies the gateway to the state of our Forever.
Matthew Poole’s Commentary states:
“I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore; the living God, who had life in myself, and gave life to the world, but assumed the human nature, and was made man, and in that nature died; but I rose again from the dead, and shall die no more, but ever live to make intercession for my people.
Amen; this is a great truth.
And have the keys of hell and of death; and have a power to kill, and cast into hell; or, I have the power over death, and the state of the dead, so as I can raise those that are dead to life again: I have the command of death, whether temporal or eternal; as he who hath the keys of a house can let in and shut out of it whom he pleaseth, so I bring to heaven and throw to hell whom I please” (emphasis added).
What happened on a Saturday is not an easy word, or an easy concept for us to consider, but it is critically important that we do. Christ is loving to the highest, deepest, farthest degree, but Christ is also POWERFUL. We are in awe, humbled, on our knees when we consider not only His Saturday, but that His choice is the ultimate choice which concerns us. He allows us to make our choices first (Do we believe upon Him? Do we know Him? Do we reverence Him, or take His kindnesses for granted?). Matthew Henry writes that Jesus is the “Judge of all, from whose sentence there is no appeal.”
Take a moment today and think about Jesus Christ’s Saturday, and how He obtained the keys from Satan to free you forever from death, from the clutches of sin, and from an unbelievable amount of evil and suffering that you will never know if you believe upon Him.
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American Standard Version Bible, Public domain. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation%201&version=ASV
Matthew Poole’s Commentary & Matthew Henry's Commentary, Revelation 1:18, accessed April 8, 2023, https://biblehub.com/commentaries/revelation/1-18.htm
Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, Strong’s NT 2288, θάνατος, accessed April 8, 2023, https://biblehub.com/greek/2288.htm