“These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David.”
— Revelation 3:7

The church in Philadelphia is one of two churches that do not receive a complaint from Jesus (the other is Smyrna). What a compliment from “him who is holy and true”! Imagine what it was like for the church in Philadelphia to be greeted this way. The One who is holy and true is wholly set apart from all that is worldly. Everything that Jesus says and does is holy and true, both now and forevermore. This reminds me of the inspiring hymn “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty!” based on Isaiah 6:1-3, Revelation 4:1-11, and other passages in Scripture. Jesus also says that he “holds the key of David.” In Isaiah 22:20-22 we find some background on this phrase. The one who holds this key can open and close the door of the house of David. (This probably refers to the kingdom that God promises to establish forever in Christ, a descendant of David—see 2 Samuel 7:11-16; Matthew 1:1; Revelation 22:16.) And when he opens or shuts the door, it is permanently open or shut. When Jesus died on the cross, the curtain in the temple in Jerusalem “was torn in two from top to bottom” (Mark 15:38). God did that, opening the way into his presence through the death of Jesus for all who trust in him as Savior. Jesus has opened the way to his kingdom. Will you enter in?

Holy Spirit, open our hearts to your truth, the story of God’s love. Fill us with wonder and awe, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

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