Devotion and Prayer for Week of November 3, 2013

Meditation for the Week of November 3, 2013

 

Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come.”  I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”                                                                 Revelations 7: 13-14

 

One often-overlooked celebration in American Christianity is that of All Saints Day.  Most likely this is because many see this Holy Day as something only for the Roman Catholic Church to celebrate.  I’m sure it also has something to do with that other holiday right before it on October 31st.  However, as Christians it is very beneficial for us to recall those who have come before us in the faith.  We should take time to thank God for their faith – for the fact that without those who believed the faith before us, we would not have had anyone to tell us about the faith in our day.  We should also thank God for their example, for the fact that He has shown us what the Christian life looks like.

But those, of course, are not the only reasons for thanking God.  We give Him thanks that He has joined us to them in the Body of our Lord Jesus – they are fellow servants of our Lord who have endured through the tribulation of this life by the grace of our Lord.  They have endured the pain, the illness, the suffering, and the sin and death that come with living in this fallen world.  So how did they do it?

Well, the elder in Revelation tells John (whose vision of heaven this is) that they endured by “washing their robes and making them white in the blood of the Lamb.”  So what does that mean?  It means that despite living in this fallen broken world; despite suffering and pain and illness – despite committing all kinds of grievous and offensive sins against God these saints now stand before our God and they stand before Him in all His glory.

This is the case not because these saints were good enough, not because they were smart enough, not because they were holy enough, but because the blood of the Lamb was powerful enough to cleanse all of their sin and all of their “unholiness” away.  They were made holy by that blood which cleansed them with Jesus’ own holiness.  Since Jesus died on the cross and shed His blood for them, the promise God made to them in Jesus resurrection: they were now forgiven.  It was also the promise made to us and all who believe.  John goes on to say about God’s people:

 

15 “Therefore they are before the throne of God,

and serve him day and night in his temple;

and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence.

16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore;

the sun shall not strike them,

nor any scorching heat.

17 For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd,

and he will guide them to springs of living water,

and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

 

Our Weekly Prayer 

Lord we thank you that you have cleansed us of all our sin by the blood of Your Son Jesus Christ.  We pray that the comfort that comes from knowing of your grace and your promise to care for us, to shelter us, and guide us will draw us to an ever-increasing faith in you. Amen.