2020 “By His Blood” Lent devotion #45
And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. (Revelation 17:6)
Symbolic of the evil which is very real in our world, the “woman” of Revelation has taken the lives of many believers. Martyrdom has always been a possibility for those who follow Jesus, who clearly said, “If anyone wants to come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.” The way of the cross is suffering, self-sacrifice and yes, death itself. Trusting him means trusting him with our lives, not trying to hold onto them ourselves.
While most who read this live in a nation where there is freedom to worship, many Christians in other places do not enjoy that privilege. To profess Christ, to be baptized, to assemble for worship or even have Christian friends is a death wish. Persecution is real, harsh and unrelenting. Following Christ is a treacherous path for them.
And yet, they follow Christ. They don’t play it safe. They risk it all to call him Lord. They have truly taken to heart Jesus words not to fear those who can only hurt your physical body but can’t touch your soul. Instead they fear, love and trust the only who cares deeply about their bodies and souls. Their own lives are not nearly as valuable as the life they have found in Christ.
Like a treasure they’ve discovered in a field or a one-in-a-million precious pearl, they would never dream of giving up their precious Lord.
You can’t hold on to both your own life and Christ. It’s one or the other. Since he’s the one who holds the power of life and death, I would rather be in his hands than my own.
But that’s something you’ll have to decide for yourself.
Lord, thanks for the life I have in you no matter what. Amen.