"I am the Living One ... And I hold the keys of death and Hades." Revelation 1:18
If you've never had surgery, been to prison, or visited a foreign country, you don't really know what those things are like. The same goes for experiencing death. Not a day goes by that we don't hear of someone dying, whether in a car accident, a murder, or a terrorist attack. Though death threatens us from every side, we still know virtually nothing about it because we haven't been there. We can't get there to see what's in store, and we can't come back to tell about it.
Now, some people have reported having near-death experiences. But seeing a light at the end of a tunnel, a vision of a river, a stairway of light, or even talking with a spiritual being as in a dream, though possibly being near death, is still not the same as being dead.
Jesus, however, has been there. He says, "I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever!" (Rev. 1:18). He died, and his body was laid in a grave till he rose again on the third day. What's more, he holds the keys of death. He broke out of death's prison and took the keys with him. Although other people had died and come back, like Lazarus (see John 11), they didn't have the keys--so they eventually died again.
Holding the keys for us, Jesus says, "Don't be afraid! When your time comes, I'll show you the way. Everything will be all right because I will be with you."
"Precious Lord, take my hand." Lead me and strengthen me so that I can do your work in this world each day by helping others till you take me home. In your name, Amen.
See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!