And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand on me, saying to me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:…
I. The whole strength of this comforting assurance to John lay in THE IDENTITY BETWEEN JESUS THAT HE HAD KNOWN, AND THE CHRIST THAT HE BEHELD. "I am alive for evermore." "I am He that liveth and was dead." It is an appeal to the memory of John, therefore the consolation to us lies in this, that it is the very same Jesus — however glorified and altered externally — that liveth and was dead. It is the transference of the humanity of Christ to heaven — it is the eternity of the Incarnation — that is to be our comfort, and the great truth upon which we are to lean. What is the practical truth the Christian draws from this fact? The Apostle to the Hebrews commences with a description of Christ in His glory. In the first chapter, at the third verse, he says, "Who being the brightness of His (God's) glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high." Here the Son of God is revealed to us as John saw Him — enthroned in His glory. But after the apostle had so described the enthroned Son of God, he requests us, in the third chapter, because he had so described Him, to consider Him — that is, Christ Jesus — "the Apostle and High Priest of our profession." The Son of God is still in heaven as the Son of Man, acting as our High Priest. In the seventh chapter the apostle proceeds to draw a further inference from this fact. He tells us that He is an eternal Priest — "a priest for ever after the order of the Melchisedec." Christ Jesus is, then, eternally in the heavens a Priest for us.
II. What PRACTICAL CONCLUSIONS the apostle draws from it.
1. In the first place, he draws the conclusion that we have a certain and a better covenant.
2. In the next place, we read another practical inference, that Christ Jesus, as our High Priest, ever liveth to make intercession for us.
3. But Christ our High Priest not only pleads for the pardon and forgiveness of our sins; He, as our High Priest, also sanctifies us. For the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ is the "cleansing of the conscience from dead works to serve the living God." It is the dedication of the whole man — body, soul, and spirit — to the service of his Maker, making him fit to appear in His temple.
Parallel VersesKJV: And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: