(HT – Toby Sumpter) – When John saw Jesus on the Island of Patmos and fell at his feet as though dead, Jesus laid His right hand on him, and said, “Do not be afraid, I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives and was dead, and Behold I am alive forevermore. And I have the keys of Hades and Death.” Who holds the power of death? Who is the Lord of Death? The One who holds the keys holds the power. Who holds the keys? It is Jesus, our Jesus.
There once was a Grim Reaper, Satan the Accuser, the Dragon of Old, the Devil, who held all men in the power of death, through the fear of death. But Jesus has suffered for our sin and now Satan has nothing – death has been exhausted. Now, when the Great Accuser looks down at his list, every sin, every fault, every failure, every betrayal, every evil deed, every lustful thought, every backbiting word, every abusive act, every accusation has been blotted out with the precious blood of Jesus – and Satan has nothing on you.
And so, there is a reason that graveyards comfortably grew up around churches. Christians are comfortable around the dead. Because Christians are no longer afraid of death. Jesus holds the keys of Hades and Death in His hand; our Savior has crushed the head of the Serpent on the Cross. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.