“I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.”
The final book of the Bible is aptly called Revelation, for it is a compilation of things that were revealed to John while banished to the Island of Patmos. In it, we will be given key insights into the future, but before the future is described, John takes time to describe Jesus. Instead of seeing the humble carpenter, meek and mild, John describes King Jesus in all His splendor and glory and refers to Him as “the ruler of the kings of the earth.” As ruler, Jesus declares He holds in His hands the keys to hell and death. As I read this, I have to ask, why would Jesus unlock the door to hell?
We have all seen the images of satan as the king of Hell, ruling over the fiery underworld. That image is not found anywhere in the Bible, but is taken from Greek mythology where Hades, the brother of Zeus, rules as a tyrant over the dead. The Bible paints an entirely different picture. Satan is not the king of Hell, but will be the chief prisoner. After all the havoc he has caused upon the earth, he will one day be bound and cast into the lake of fire. There he will forever pay for his rebellion against God, and the destruction he has caused mankind. The key in the hand of Jesus is used to unlock the door of hell to imprison the devil and his cohorts.
There is another reason why Jesus holds this key. The Bible teaches that, prior to coming to Christ, we are held captive to sin. Like a prisoner of war held behind enemy lines, we are bound in our sin and have no way of escape. Jesus holds the key; the way of escape out of sin and it’s penalty. Whenever, whoever, and wherever we are, when we call upon Christ, we are set free from sin, death and judgment, and given the free gift of eternal life. Jesus is the one who unlocks the door and sets us free.
Whatever sin may have its grip on you, if you cry out to Christ, He will set you free.