White Gladiator Stone
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White Gladiator Stone
(Revelation 2.17)
Page 45

"Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it." (Revelation 2.17)✞

Tessera

GladiatorsIn the ancient Roman empire, a successful gladiator was the most admired hero of all. The word "gladiator" came from the name of the sword or "gladius" he or she carried and the gladiator was therefore basically a "swordsman" or if female, a "swordswoman." Both men and women gladiators appeared in the Colosseum and other area arenas. One of these gladiatorial arenas at Verona in Italy still stands today virtually as it was in Roman times. Gladiators who were mostly slaves or captives from wars had to fight again and again until he or she was either killed in combat or allowed by the governor of the games to retire! If the gladiator had had a specially illustrious career, when they grew old, they were permitted an honorable retirement as well as a parting gift of a white gladiator stone.

Swordswomen Swordsmen

Roman TesseraSwordswomen and swordsmen were given a white gladiator stone otherwise called a "Tessera" with the letters "SP" inscribed upon it. "SP" which stood for the Latin word "spectatus," or "a woman or man whose valor has been proved beyond a doubt." With this small token, a gladiator's reputation was established. The stone token allowed special privileges as befitted their honored status. In other situations, "tesserae" were used to cast lots by which a black Tessera determined guilt and a white one established innocence. Following the Olympic Games, winners were given a parade of honor and presented with a white stone which bore the winner's name. This turned into a kind of pension for the individual for the rest of his days. On other occasions, a white stone was also sometimes split in two as a token of friendship between two persons and the two halves guaranteed a warm welcome when visiting the other's home or territory. "Tesserae" was also the name given to the tiny square pieces of colored stone or glass used on decorative panels and mosaic floors in Roman houses and mansions. Dr William Barclay, (1907-1978) the eminent Biblical scholar and historian wrote, "In the ancient world, a particularly happy day was called a "white day." A white stone was a very happy gift to receive!

Gladiator Russell Crowe

Gladiator Russell CroweChristians are to be gladiators for Christ like the movie gladiator Russell Crowe. When they have proved their valor in the battle of life, they are allowed to enter with honor into the rest which Christ has given them. They will be presented with "a white Tessera stone" bearing a new name, possibly that of "Jesus" or simply the name of "Devout Christian" for faithfulness and a job well done. What an honor that will be!✞

"White Gladiator Stone"
by Ron Meacock © 2018

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