8th August 2011

I’ve Got The Keys!

“…Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.”
Revelation 1:17-18 (KJV) 

The above scripture was always one of my favourites, partly because it sums up, in plain words, the epic victory of God’s Son. Also, you get such an intriguing sense of a scale of chronology far beyond our concepts of time—from the “I am” that was the name of God indicating existence outside of time, through the, “was dead”, referring to the single event, going on to the, “alive for evermore”, that leads from a point in time towards eternity. 

Favourite scripture or not, sometimes you don’t actually realise all that a verse is about until you find yourself reading it aloud to the children at bedtime, or having to explain it to someone who is questioning. I found myself talking through this verse one night when my 6-year-old was having a worry about “people going to hell”. At first he completely misunderstood the “keys” metaphor, imagining Jesus in the role of jailer, putting people in, rather than letting people out. We had a longish talk, by the end of which he decided there was no need to fear. 

Afterwards, however, I realised that my first reading of that statement, “I… have the keys of hell and of death”, had probably been along the same lines. Until I came to explain what it meant I had not had a clear sense of its meaning; and that there will be many others—even favourite scriptures—waiting for understanding.  Jesus has the keys to release us not only from hell and death, but from misunderstanding and fear. 

You are the first and the last; you live, you died and you are now alive for ever, and you have the keys to free us.

Study by Fiona Jones

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