After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice, saying,
“Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!” [Rev 7:9-10]
The seventh chapter of Revelation begins with this - another glimpse into the heavenly worship that goes on above us (check Rev 5 for another epic visual). The communion of saints, too many to count, before God’s throne, singing praise to the Lamb. They, the church triumphant revel in their realized salvation, rejoicing that they are never apart from God ever again.
They are the martyrs. They are the persecuted. They are the faithful.
The word says, “These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” (7:14)
We hung on this verse for just a little while in worship… If you pay attention to it, it gets to the heart of what Jesus is revealing in this revelation to John.
The Communion of Saints isn’t a crew of passive believers that Christ washed.
The Communion of Saints, too many to count, took the life of Christ and the love of God seriously. They took the grace that was offered in the gift of eternal salvation and honored it with lives well lived in the name of the Lamb.
The saints lived lives like Jesus was real and came to find that it was all true. They held on to love of God, their salvation, in the face of the worst the world had to offer, and they prevailed. They triumphed.
This is a text that we usually read on All Saints Day, that day in November that we celebrate and remember those that have gone on before us to glory. We remember that we’re part of a cosmic church that goes on without end.
The Book of Revelation goes on from this point to paint vivid pictures of God’s work to redeem the world. Stories of monsters, the Great Enemy, the broken city, wayward peoples. But it doesn’t end there, not ever. The story always ends with God’s win on behalf of the people of the world.
This Sunday, we’ll turn the corner towards the beautiful end God has in store for us, which is really just the beginning, as we dig through John’s conclusion to Revelation.
I hope to see you at 11am on Sunday morning in Revive Worship!