Tuesday, June 12Scripture Reading—Revelation 20:7-15
This passage continues yesterday’s reading about the millennial reign of Christ. The writer envisions one last gasp for the forces of evil with Satan being freed from bondage and a great world-wide battle that ensues. If this text reminds us of anything, it reminds us that the forces of evil are persistent and powerful and do not easily or readily submit to God’s purposes. But here the final victory is secured. The writer says, “Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire.” (vs. 14) You can hear all the people on earth and all the host of heaven in a collective cheer! Finally—it’s finished! We may ask why all this wasn’t accomplished in the first coming of Jesus. Some theologians have argued that we live in a tension between what is already (the victory over sin, death, and evil secured through the cross and resurrection of Jesus) and what is not yet (the full and final victory over all the forces of evil). Some writers have likened this to the difference between D-Day and V-Day. The D-Day invasion at Normandy during World War II was the decisive battle that signaled that the Allies would gain the victory. But of course more fighting had to follow before V-Day, the final victory, could be celebrated. The cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ signal the future fate of evil, but we await the final decisive battle and the celebration of the end of all strife. We live in this tension between what has already been accomplished and what is yet to be. What do we do? We make sure we live as those whose lives have been written in the book of life (v. 12) We stand for what is right. We strive to eradicate the world of the remaining residue of injustice, suffering, and evil. And we live with hope knowing that what God began in Christ, God will finally complete!
Thought for the day: We accept God’s invitation to have our names written in the Book of Life and stand against evil and injustice as God gives us the strength.
Prayer: O God, by your grace, write my name in your book. And by your power, allow me to endure present difficulties with courage, determined to bear witness by my words and deeds to your goodness, justice, and power that one day will reign over all things. Amen.