40 blogs of Lent – Day 8
Death and Life
Messages to the churches – Day 6
Smyrna – Day 1
And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life.
Smyrna was located north of Ephesus in a powerful trading position on the Aegean Sea known for its harbours, commerce, and marketplaces. The primary ruins of Smyrna are located in the modern Turkish city of Izmir.
Straight on from the mention of the tree of life at the end of the message to the Ephesus comes this. The attribute of Christ that comes here is his death and resurrection, the one who died and came to life.
The significance here is that they are facing persecution, and some will die. But Jesus is the one who is alive again, Jesus is stronger than death. There is nothing, not even death, that can separate us from God’s love.
“And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life.
“‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.’
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.