Beatitudes in Revelation (2)

Beatitudes in Revelation (2)

Beatitudes in Revelation (2).

‘And I heard a voice from heaven saying, ‘Write this down: Blessed are those who die in the Lord from now on.’ ‘Yes,’ says the Spirit ‘they are blessed indeed, for they will rest from their hard work; for their good deeds follow them.'” (Revelation 14:13, NLT).

“Blessed” = makarioi; a rich Greek word with many nuances, all in the context of enjoying God’s favor: fully satisfied; deeply joyful; delightfully content; profoundly happy; blissfully fulfilled. When Jesus declares that you are blessed, He is congratulating you, confidently affirming that God is active in your life. You are blessed when you put yourself in the position to be transformed by God. You are blessed, you are most fortunate, you are to be envied, because you now have the unexpected privilege of participating in the Kingdom of God. When you are blessed, you are aware that your blessedness does not depend on your outer circumstances. You are thus filled with hopeful joy. So when Jesus says that you are blessed, it is time to celebrate, for He is looking upon you with favor. In these Beatitudes, Jesus is saying that God wants us to be blessed, He is for us, He wants good to happen to us.

Many would consider this an unexpected blessing… How fortunate you are when you are dead. Happy are those who have died. But when we consider the full meaning of the word blessed, it starts making sense. We will be spiritually fulfilled when we die a believer in Jesus. We will enjoy God’s favor when we die in the Lord. We will be worthy of congratulations when we die a Christian. For we will receive rest from the hard work of being a faithful follower of Christ. Believers can finally be at ease from their labors of faith. And here’s another way a blessing is in order for the dearly departed… Our good deeds will go with us when we die! Our faithful works will accompany us to the New Jerusalem. The Holy Spirit says to us in this blessing that we will somehow enjoy the fruits of our labors all through eternity. Maybe this is what Jesus meant in John 15:16, when He said that He chose us to bear fruit that will last, that will remain. Maybe he meant our fruit to last for all time. We know we can’t take money or possessions or fame with us when we die. But, guess what? We can take our good deeds! As Eugene Peterson says in his paraphrase of Rev. 14:13… None of what we’ve done is wasted. We’re sending up timbers as we engage in good works. We are building our home with Jesus in Heaven. Our good deeds will follow along with us into eternity.