Blessed are the dead who die and dance.
That was last week’s message and what John saw on Mt. Zion.
He saw the glory of the coming of the Lord.
He saw Jesus and His dancing Body—144,000 singing dancing warrior brides.
He saw the Church: Those who had lost themselves and then found themselves dancing to the rhythm of the new and eternal Gospel.
Rev. 14:13 “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.”
After the service, a friend asked, “How do you die… so you can dance?”
It’s not as easy as you might think, once you realize that the true death is not the death of the body, but the death of the soul, the psyche, the self.
You can’t kill yourself with yourself; that’s just more self.
To truly lose yourself, you must focus on something bigger, better, and more beautiful than yourself.
If you really want to die, look to God . . .
No one can truly see God and “live,” or should I say, stay dead.
If you see God, you will lose your psyche, find it, and start dancing.
Sinners are already dead, and the death of death is Life.
Why are we so afraid to die? Isn’t it because we’re afraid of Judgment?
We think that we must justify ourselves before the Judgment.
“Blessed are the dead who die.” But, “woe to the dead who won’t die.”
They cower in outer darkness and refuse to look up at the coming of the Lord.
They don’t know that the Reaper is not grim.
They don’t know that the Judgment is a Harvest.
They don’t know that a harvest is always a festival in the land of the Lord.
John looks up and sees the Reaper who harvests the wheat.
Jesus is the Reaper. And it’s the life of Jesus that is reaped.
He is the seed and we are God’s field.
At the harvest, the farmer separates the wheat from the tares.
Each of us is a field of wheat and weeds that look like wheat.
At the Judgment, the Lord will free you of your weeds.
It would be good news if the Judgment was now.
Every kernel of wheat grows in a vessel of chaff.
If you’re proud of yourself, that self is chaff.
If you’re grateful for yourself, that self is wheat.
At the harvest, the chaff is separated from the grain and burned with fire.
It would be good news if the Judgment were now.
It’s the chaff that keeps you from dancing.
John sees the harvest of the wheat and then the grapes.
They’re thrown into the winepress of the passion of the wrath of God and trodden outside the city walls where the flesh of the sin offering is burned. From the press flows a river of blood that is wine and wine that is blood. In Scripture, the juice is called “the blood of the grape” and it’s pressed from the “flesh of the grape” to make the wine.
And so what is a grape of wrath? It’s a soul that refuses to surrender “the Life.”
In the beginning, God breathed the breath of Life into the dust and made your soul.
Jesus is the Life. And “the life is in the blood.”
To take the Life as your very own is sin.
It is to damn the river of Life, damn yourself, and damn the Life—who is Christ.
To offer the Life is the definition of Love.
God is Love: God is three persons and one Dance.
And to want to join that dance is right. It’s righteousness.
At the cross, our Lord takes your sin and turns it into righteousness.
At the cross, our Lord turns vessels of wrath, into vessels of mercy.
At the cross, our Lord creates in you the desire to dance.
God in Christ Jesus treads the press.
And God in Christ Jesus is the one that is trodden.
And God in Christ Jesus through the wonder of His Spirit is calling you to join them.
When one person loves it looks like a man on a cross.
When two people love it looks like a marriage… and a honeymoon.
When all people love, it is a relentless party, it is a Body dancing in grace, freedom, and delight—it is the Body of Christ dancing on Mt. Zion in the 7th day.
The harvest of the earth is wheat and grapes, bread and wine, body and blood.
The Judgment of God is everything your heart most earnestly desires.
You cannot justify yourself before the Judgment of God.
But the Judgment of God has justified you.
“Now is the Judgment,” said Jesus.
And why am I telling you? Why do I preach to the dead?
So we would look up, behold the Judgment of God, and start dancing.
“Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him; be jubilant, my feet! Our God is [dancing] on.”
Glory Glory Hallelujah, the Grim Reaper is not grim.
*Sermon discussion questions are available here: Discussion Questions “Glory Glory Hallelujah the Grim Reaper Isn’t Grim”