Key Death Hades
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Key Death Hades
(Revelation 1.17b-18)
Page 30

"He placed his right hand upon me and said, 'Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.'" (Revelation 1.17b-18)

Separated into Compartments

KeyRevelation told us that Jesus held "the keys of Death and Hades." The Greek word for "Hades" meant "unseen" and was a translation of the Hebrew word "Sheol." Hades or Sheol basically described the unseen location of the abode of the dead. "Hades" was also the name of an ancient Greek god of the underworld. "Sheol" on the other hand was described as "the home of the righteous and the wicked." These two places were separated into compartments as was seen in the story of Lazarus (the poor beggar) and Dives (the rich man) in Luke 16.19-21. We read, "There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores."

Dives and Lazarus

After the death of these two men, the wicked Dives remained in Hell and the righteous Lazarus ended up with Abraham in Paradise. Luke 16.22-23 continued, "The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side." The word "Hades" emphasized the awful dread of this place in the afterlife. Jesus himself held "the key of Death and Hades" which was a symbol of his control either to keep people in or to let them out. Jesus had sole power, authority, and control over death and over the place of the dead.

Life's Maze

MazeRoger von Oech (1948-? ) once wrote, "Life is like a maze in which you try to avoid the exit." Christians don't have to avoid the exit, in fact, they can look forward to it for they know what blessings are beyond it. Jesus alone is able to free human beings from the fear of death. Believers don't have to fear death, because Jesus of Nazareth holds "the key of the terrors of death and the eternity of Hades."

"Key Death Hades"
by Ron Meacock © 2019

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