Victory Wreath Crown
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Victory Wreath Crown (Revelation 2.10b-11) Page 38

"Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor's crown. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who is victorious will not be hurt at all by the second death." (Revelation 2.10b-11)✞

Smyrna Olympics

Victor's CrownA circular victory wreath crown was woven from interlocking laurel tree twigs and leaves. Laurel wood has an aromatic evergreen fragrance. For this reason the "victory wreath" is sometimes called a "laurel wreath." Later, they were also woven from a plant called a "spineless burcher's broom" or "cherry." Victory crowns were awarded to the winners in the Smyrna Games as champions much the same as gold, silver or bronze medals are awarded to modern athletes in the Olympic Games. Smyrna was famous for its athletic games in ancient times. They were a smaller version of the modern Summer Olympic Games which were first held in modern times in 1896 AD and since then have taken place in a different location every four years. The modern Winter Games have a similar format with gold, silver and bronze medals awarded in each event. In the Book of Revelation, those faithful under persecution are told they too will receive a victory wreath crown. For the Christian, this is not only a sign of victory but being circular and endless a symbol of eternal life.

Faithful in Sufferings

Afraid of the DarkThe promised reward is that Christians will receive the "victor's crown" and "will not be hurt at all by the second death." Jesus never said that Christians would avoid suffering, troubles, or even persecution. Rather, we must be faithful to him in our sufferings. Only then will our faith be proven to be genuine.

Second Death

Angel of DeathThe term "second death" was used by the Rabbis in New Testament times for the death of the wicked in the next world. Although the term is not found in the Hebrew Bible, it was in the Targums which were paraphrases of texts from the Second Temple period. A reference to the second death is also found later in Revelation 21.8 which reads, "But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars - they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death." In technical terms, the "second death" is therefore part of the Christian belief system. We need to keep our eyes on Christ and on what he promises us now and in the future in order to receive our "victory crown." Christians will not then be hurt at all by the second death.

"Victory Wreath Crown"
by Ron Meacock © 2017

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