To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen. Rev. 1:5-6
Dear Lord Jesus, these words from the Apostle John read like a toast. It’s as though we’ve just finished a great banquet and have risen to our feet, with glasses hoisted, to honor you, “To him who loves us . . .” That’s not really a very farfetched notion.
For there’s no date on the calendar of our hearts more anticipated and longed for than the wedding feast of the Lamb—the banquet of all banquets, the mercy meal by which we will celebrate your marriage to us, and the inauguration of our shared life together in the new heaven and new earth. Even so, hasten that Day, O great Bridegroom, hasten that liberating, finalizing, glorifying Day.
Until then, help us more fully grasp the implications of that one enormous little phrase, “To him who loves us. ” Though every page of the Scripture either shadows, suggests, or shouts about your love to us, this verse says it specifically, and it’s in the present tense. You love us right now, as we are, not as we will be—unconditionally, because you have met all the conditions on our behalf; passionately, because that’s who you are; unwaveringly, because your love is steadfast forever.
How fitting that this kiss of grace would be found in the opening words to the concluding book of your whole revelation. What a glorious summation of your work on our behalf; what a magnificent affirmation of the central theme in the history of redemption: “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”
Keep us from ever taking your love for granted, Lord Jesus, or presuming on it. Keep us humble as we reflect on the cost of your love, your death on the cross for us—taking our sin, giving us your righteousness. Rescue us when, in moments of temporary insanity, other loves seem more appealing, satisfying or necessary. Focus and free our hearts for living out the radical implications of your love, for you have made us a kingdom of priests to serve God, in this life and the life to come. What a joy honor!
To you be the glory and power forever and ever, Lord Jesus! Your beloved bride awaits your return. So very Amen we pray, your merciful and matchless name.