Revelation 1:5b-6 would be a great motto for us this Christmas. It’s a call for all of God’s people to unite in recognizing and celebrating Jesus Christ. It’s a call for us, amid the hectic nature of Christmas time, to unite under the banner of Christ because He is glorious, worthy of worship and worthy of our lives.
Revelation 1:5b-6 says:
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Jesus Loves You
At Christmas time, we often think of the wise men bringing three gifts to the baby Jesus. Well in this passage, we see three gifts that Jesus has given to us. The first gift is this: Jesus loves us.
Jesus loves you. That seems so basic, but it’s here in God’s living and active Word – He wants you to know that He loves you. Jesus emptied Himself and took on the form of a man for you. Now you might feel unworthy of this, like you don’t deserve Jesus to love you that much, but that’s probably a good thing.
Jesus never enters our lives through the front door, the part of us that’s swept, decorated and arranged to be perfectly presentable. He doesn’t enter through our Instagram feed and the self-images we project. Instead, Jesus enters our lives with His love through the back door where the garbage is piled up, the dirty laundry sits and the broken things remain broken. He enters through that way because He’s not here to have tea – He’s here to clean you up and make you right.
So if you’re thinking, “I need to fix myself up before I receive Jesus’ love,” there is good news: Jesus gives us His love in our brokenness. His love comes to bring forgiveness for your sins, to replace your guilt with innocence and to cover up your shame. Jesus loves you.
Jesus Has Freed You by His Blood
The second gift for us in Revelation 1:5 is this: Jesus has freed us. The Bible teaches that everyone is born into slavery to sin. It’s just the human condition. And this is the reason why we struggle to live like we should, why we’re unable to keep our resolutions and why we don’t have to teach our kids how to do wrong things.
Our sin entangles us and cuts us off from the relationships we’re supposed to have with God and other people. And the only thing that solves this problem is the blood of Jesus. He “has freed us from our sins by his blood” which He shed for us on the cross. Through this sacrifice, He has freed those who believe from slavery to sin.
If you aren’t a Christian, confess your sins to the Lord. You don’t have to try to be good, you just need to acknowledge that you’re not. If you’re a Christian who has ongoing sin in your life, this Christmas is the perfect opportunity to remember that Jesus paid to completely free you from it. Or if you’re a Christian who feels guilty about some past sin, know that you can let that go – in Christ, God has forgiven you of it and there is now no condemnation (Romans 8:1).
Jesus Has Made You a Kingdom
Jesus loves us and has freed us from slavery to sin. He has also made us a kingdom.
The Bible can seem really harsh sometimes about the human condition. But it’s not harsh – it’s realistic so that it can be hopeful. It is more hopeful about human potential than any other source you’ll find. It tells us that, yes, we’re so messed up with sin, but we can be part of an eternal kingdom with direct access to God.
Revelation 1:5b-6 is a call for us to unite in recognition and celebration of Jesus Christ and His glory and dominion now. One day everyone will acknowledge that He is Lord (Philippians 2:9-11), but we get to join that chorus right now. We can shout with our lips and our lives, “Long live the King of kings! To Him be glory and dominion forever and ever!”
Why is it important to know that Jesus loves you?
What does it mean that Jesus has freed us?
How are we part of a kingdom?
What can you do to live in light of these gifts this Christmas?
As a citizen of God’s kingdom, how is your life different from others’?