“These are the ones who are coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” (EHV)
From time to time, archaeologists unearth an item that tells a story. Some years ago, archaeologists were hard at work within the ruins of ancient Rome. They happened to be digging in the remains of a school for imperial pages. As they did, they found a picture dating back to the Third Century A.D. It shows a boy standing, his hand raised, worshiping a figure on a cross. The figure on the cross is a man with the head of a donkey. Scrawled in the handwriting of a child are the words: “Alex worships his God.”
In one old picture, the story emerges. Alex is a Christian. The God he worships is the one who came to this earth to die on a cross to wash his sins away. Others in his class find his Christian faith ridiculous. Someone decides to draw a picture of Alex to make fun of him and his Savior.
History tells us that the persecution of Christians went beyond the passing of pictures in class. Christians experienced contempt from the surrounding culture. Christians lost their jobs. They were arrested, tortured, and put to death. On top of all that, the devil used every hardship in their lives as an opportunity to discourage them from trusting in Jesus Christ.
Today, the tribulation continues, as the Lord said it would. Christians around the world face mockery and hostility, torture and death. In addition, Satan does all he can to use the griefs and disappointments of this life to convince Jesus’ followers to give up, to quit.
But in the book of Revelation, the Lord gives us a look ahead. On the Last Day, there are Jesus’ followers, coming out of the great tribulation. There they are, washed clean in the blood of the Lamb. There they are, basking in their Savior’s presence forever.
One more thing. The picture mocking Alex has an additional piece of writing. It says, “Alex is faithful.” The Lord sustained Alex. He remained faithful. He will sustain his followers today, too.
Lord Jesus, in this broken world, tribulations are part of my calling as a Christian. Sustain me and be my strength. Amen.