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April 23 – The hand of Christ

“When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.”” – Revelation 1:17-18 

Scripture reading: Revelation 1:9-20

The book of Revelation has a grim context which is well represented by the plight of its author. John is on the island of Patmos, a first-century Alcatraz, where he had been exiled for his ministry and doomed to die and where he had to engage in hard labour, wear shabby clothing, and sleep on rocky ground.

Unable to worship with other Christians, John is caught up by the Spirit on the Lord’s Day and translated to a greater assembly where he sees through cracks, as it were, into heaven’s glory, of which our worship today is a faint echo. He hears a loud voice, the voice of God, and he is summoned to write down what he sees and hears.

What is revealed to John is Christ, walking among the seven golden lampstands, the seven churches, and holding seven stars, the angels of the seven churches. Just as angels sustained Christ in the wilderness, so angels sustain churches in their wilderness experience.

As Jesus stood before John in glory, His face was like the sun shining in full strength. When John saw Him, the experience was nearly unbearable, and John fell at His feet as though dead. But Jesus does something literally touching. He rests His right hand on John’s shoulder, and says, “Fear not . . . I died, and behold I am alive forevermore.” John must have been thrilled to write this down. With Jesus standing among them, the churches need not be afraid. The King of kings, their living Lord, will sustain them.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that God would give us a vision of Christ as the King of kings, standing among the churches in order to sustain them.

Dr. Bill DeJong is the lead pastor of Blessings Christian church in Hamilton, ON and adjunct professor of Religion and Theology at Redeemer University in Ancaster, ON. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at  

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