Revelation Unveiled: Have You Died?

St. John fell at Jesus’ feet as though dead (see Revelation 1:17).

Revelation 17:1, 19:10; 21:9 & 22:8 refer to John falling down to worship one of the angels who held the bowls filled with the seven plagues–
but each time the prostration seems to have been voluntary,
and the angels stopped him, telling him to get up, to worship God alone.

In Revelation 1:17, John falls down as though dead
not typically a voluntary thing!
And Jesus doesn’t stop John or tell him to get up.
He simply reaches out His right hand, touches him,
tells him not to fear, and gives him a mission:
“Now write what you see.”

There’s an element of resurrection here.
Given that John’s falling as though dead
was a direct consequence of seeing Jesus
–and experiencing the sword coming from His mouth!–
one could propose that John was pierced, penetrated,
slain by that sword
(as we should be every time we encounter this living Word).

In some sense, he died.

Nor was he resuscitated.
He didn’t go back to the same old life he had before,
to doing his own thing.
What he did during and after that vision
was purely the King’s business–
a whole new life.

That’s what Baptism is.

Do you not know
that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus
were baptized into His death?
We were buried therefore with Him by Baptism
into death,
so that as Christ was raised from the dead
by the glory of the Father,
we too might walk in newness of life
-Romans 6:3-4

The Baptized have died.
Our natural way of life, our “old self”
is dead.

I have been crucified with Christ;
it is no longer I who live,
but Christ Who lives in me;
and the life I now live in the flesh
I live by faith in the Son of God
Who loved me and gave Himself for me.
-Galatians 2:20

Our natural life has a way of resuscitating–
of going back to life as usual.

We need resurrection,
a whole new life in Christ,
Christ living in me.

This is ongoing.

Every choice
needs to pass through the crucifying waters of Baptism.
Is this my old natural life
or the life of Christ?

I can ask of every decision,
“Have you died?”
“Whose life is this?”

An old song comes to mind (I haven’t been able to track down the artist):

Have you died?
Have you laid down your life?
Have you died
and risen to new life?
The love of Jesus Christ
is worth the dying price.
It’s a gift that you can open all your life.
Have you died?

Those who have died this death,
however repeatedly,
need not fear “the second death,”
the lake of fire (see Revelation 20:14).

And they will find that in this life, too,
those who lose themselves
find themselves (see Matthew 16:25).
Living the life of Christ,
the life of divine love,
is its own reward!

St. John fell at Jesus’ feet as though dead.
That’s not a bad way to start the morning’s prayer,
flat on my face before the Living One,
the One Who died and is alive forevermore,
Who reaches out in love to touch me, to tell me not to fear,
and to entrust me with His life,
with His mission for the day.

Now tell me:
Have you died…today?

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