I Am the First and the Last . . .
Revelation 1:12-18 NLT
 When I turned to see who was speaking to me, I saw seven gold lampstands.
 And standing in the middle of the lampstands was someone like the Son of Man. He was wearing a long robe with a gold sash across his chest.
 His head and his hair were white like wool, as white as snow. And his eyes were like flames of fire.
 His feet were like polished bronze refined in a furnace, and his voice thundered like mighty ocean waves.
 He held seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp two-edged sword came from his mouth. And his face was like the sun in all its brilliance.
 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as if I were dead. But he laid his right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last.
 I am the living one. I died, but look— I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.
Reflection . . .
The book of Revelation is filled with all kinds of imagery and prophetic writings about things that are yet to come. Most people do not understand much if any of what it contains. Verse 18 is key to understanding everything that is written in the book.
Jesus is alive forever and holds the keys to death and the grave!
If we hold on to that truth, then we can begin to grasp all that is written in this book even though we may not understand it totally. Jesus stands among the churches (lampstands), admonishing His people to stay true to the faith and the faithful teachings given to them. No matter what comes, disasters, evil or harm, we can hold to the fact that Jesus is all that matters in life and death.
So, with this truth in perspective, let’s face today and each day with a renewed sense of hope and purpose for the life He has called us to live. Let’s live our lives in complete reverence of Him, falling down to worship, and serve Him with complete abandon, doing all He asks of us!