“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“
I am He who lives
Jesus reviews His life in His humanity. His humanity continues into eternity even as He speaks.
and was dead
Jesus died on the cross. John saw Him dead on the cross. Jesus’ death on the cross gave Him authority over death. That is why He has the keys of Hades and Death.
“Was dead” is literally “became dead.” Jesus died of His own volition. He did not merely die. By His own will, He laid down His life (Matthew 27:50; John 19:30).
and behold, I am alive forevermore.
The resurrected Jesus makes a proclamation of His victory over death. He rose never to die again. The humanity of Jesus sits at the right hand of the throne of God forever. He is throughout eternity, the unique person of the universe. Death will never make any claims on Him again.
This is the third “amen” of this chapter. It means so be it. Jesus affirms His conviction about the importance of His resurrection.
Jesus paved the way for our immortality.
Death can no longer affect Jesus, and it can no longer affect the Christian. Once we become Christians, we become immortal.
“Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.”O Death, where is your sting?
O Hades, where is your victory?’” (1 Corinthians 15:51-55).