Beatitudes in Revelation (7)

Beatitudes in Revelation (7)

Beatitudes in Revelation (7).

“Blessed are those who will have washed their robes clean, so that they will have the right to feed on the Tree of Life and can come through the gates into the city.”  (Revelation 22:14).

“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.

John is telling us in this last beatitude of Revelation that we will enjoy the favor of God when our garments are washed clean in the blood of the Lamb (Rev. 7:14). Instead of turning blood-red, our robes will be pure white. We have been forgiven through Christ’s death and resurrection, our innocence has been renewed, our purity has returned to us because of Jesus’ blood. We now have the right to approach the Tree of Life and eat of its fruit. We are now eligible for eternal life. The fruit will sustain us for all eternity.

Tree of Life. “To everyone who is victorious I will give fruit from the tree of life in the paradise of God.” (2:7). In the center of the Garden of Eden, God planted two trees: the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and the Tree of Life. Adam and Eve were forbidden to eat of their fruit. The Tree of the Knowledge was an opportunity… It was a test of obedience. God gave them the freedom to choose to disobey God or obey Him. The other Tree was put there to fulfill man’s destiny of eternal life, the fruit of immortality. The problem after the Fall is that mankind fell into a state of sin, they were no longer innocent. To eat of the Tree of Life would now lead to a hopeless life, a sinful life with no hope of ever achieving innocence, a sinful life that would never end. God would not want sinners to eat of the Tree of life, He would not want anyone under the power of sin to have eternal life. So God needed to protect the Tree of Life at all costs. God knew that if Adam and Eve were willful enough to disobey God with the one Tree, they could sooner or later disobey Him with the other Tree. This would be a catastrophe. So the Lord stationed warrior angels to guard the Tree of Life, with swords of fire surrounding the Tree. Then He kicked out Adam and Eve, exiled out of the Garden. No one could possibly gain eternal life who was indeed a sinner. And the Tree has been untouched ever since.

Because of Jesus’ death and Resurrection, the power of sin has been broken, and the Tree of Life is now ready to fulfill the destiny of mankind, eternal life. This Tree is available in paradise. God wants to restore the Garden of Eden in the new heaven and the new earth, and so, sure enough, God has placed the restored Tree of Life in the middle of heaven. This Tree is now open for business, it bears a fruit that is ripe for each of the 12 months. And it has leaves that are intended for the healing of the nations, the nurture and care of all people. The restored Tree of Life reverses the curse of the Garden. So one can see that this Tree is in many ways the Cross of Christ. Jesus’ death has destroyed the power of sin, and paved the way for believers to have eternal life. The Cross is our source of life, and has taken away the curse of sin. Jesus promises that all the overcomers, the victorious ones, will eat the fruit of this Tree, destined for those who participate in Christ’s victory and salvation.

When our sins are forgiven, the spiritual garment of our resurrected body is pure, and our priestly robes are washed clean. We now may enter through the gates of the New Jerusalem, the City of God. The promised blessing of Jesus is now confirmed, we now are eternally secure in the favor of God, blessed beyond the imagination. Heaven is the final beatitude.