Revelation 1:18 – Jesus’ possession of “the keys of Death and Hades
Revelation 1:18 – …and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen.
The word “behold” punctuates importance of Christ’s eternal life. Just as Christ’s death was necessary to win victory over death, it is equally important that He conquered death, being raised from the dead, into an eternal body – our future resurrection depends on it:
1 Corinthians 15:16-22 – For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.
Romans 6:5-10 – For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.
Through His death, Jesus gained the power to “release those” who were “subject to bondage” (Hebrews 2:15). The bondage of death is the wages for sin:
Romans 6:20-23 – For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The place of the dead is known as “Hades” in Greek, or “Sheol” in Hebrew. Hades is a holding place for souls in the center of the earth, which is where Jesus went after He died:
Matthew 12:40 – For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Psalms 16:10 – For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
Jesus was in Hades during the three days and nights between His death and resurrection, preaching to the spirits held in bondage there:
1 Peter 3:18-19 – For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison.
Ephesians 4:8-10 – Therefore He says: “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.” (Now this, “He ascended” – what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.”)
Scripture personifies “Death” in several passages. The following passage suggests that such a named entity exists:
Revelation 6:8 – So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.
Job 28:22 – Destruction and Death say, ‘We have heard a report about it with our ears.’
Psalms 49:14 – Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall be consumed in the grave, far from their dwelling.
Isaiah 38:18 – For Sheol cannot thank You, death cannot praise You; those who go down to the pit cannot hope for Your truth.
Jesus paid the ransom and penalty for our sin and death through His own death. When Jesus rose again, He had the power over “Death” to release the souls of the righteous from Hades, and raise them from the dead:
Hosea 13:14 – “I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. O Death, I will be your plagues! O Grave, I will be your destruction! Pity is hidden from My eyes.”
Matthew 27:52-53 – And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.
Today, the souls of Christians immediately go into the Lord’s presence at death, instead of Hades, as was the case before the cross:
2 Corinthians 5:8 – We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.
Hades has “gates”:
Matthew 16:18 – And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
Job 17:16 – “Will they go down to the gates of Sheol? Shall we have rest together in the dust?”
Isaiah 38:10 – I said, “In the prime of my life I shall go to the gates of Sheol; I am deprived of the remainder of my years.”
Therefore, Jesus’ possession of “the keys of Death and Hades” represents His power and authority to release those imprisoned behind these “gates.” So we should not have fear of the Lord, but take comfort that He is sovereign over everything, including death and Hades.
“Keys of hell and of death” (see note on Luke 16:23). Death and Hades are essentially synonyms, but death is the condition and Hades, equivalent to the Old Testament Sheol, the place of the dead (see note on 20:13). Christ decides who lives, who dies, and when.
Jesus is explaining here. He is the same one who took on the form of flesh and died on the cross for our sins. We read (in Romans 10), what we must do to be saved (see article Christian – How do I become One).
Romans 10:9 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
This is interesting. We must not only believe who He is and that He saved us, but we must believe that He rose from the grave. His body is what died and rose again. Jesus, when He descended into hell, took the keys of hell away from the devil. When He arose, He did away with death. Death was the last enemy to be done away with. The devil cannot put anyone in hell. Jesus is the only one who can do that. Jesus has the key. No one can enter, or exit, without Him.
We will read later how Jesus locks the devil up for 1000 years. Jesus is the Judge. The only ones Jesus will put in hell are the devil, the devil’s angels, and those who reject Him.
When Jesus said “I am He that liveth”, it is life forevermore. Jesus Christ, as the absolute living one, He has life in Himself, He is life, He is our source of life, and He has control of everything, in heaven, earth, and hell. He called Lazarus’ life back into him.
Jesus brought many souls out of hell when He preached in hell. Jesus is Life. He controls our destiny. We choose (He controls), either heaven or hell eternally.
image courtesy: Revelation 1-18 JVN2K07
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We are now living in the absolute End Times as per biblical prophecy.
Our Lord Jesus Christ – King of Kings. 2nd Coming and return is IMMENENT!.
Please do not waist another a minute.
No matter what religion you serve, there is only one God.
If, you want to be assured that you will not have to endure the perilous times that will befall you.
Irrespective, of what sins you may have committed at any time of your life. If you humble yourself and ask for God’s forgiveness. He will forgive you and wash them all away and welcome you as his beloved son or daughter with open arms.
If you are not a child of Father God or have not asked Jesus Christ to come into your life yet?
I implore you to do this without delay.
Read this prayer of Salvation and ask God to forgive you now and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and you will be assured of eternal life.