In 1991 the MN Twins won their second World Series title. I was 13 years old at the time, and I remember the victory parade in Minneapolis. The players all rode to the Metrodome to celebrate their victory over the Atlanta Braves. Crowds of people lines the streets, waving homer hankies in celebration of the championship.
In Revelation 7 St. John is given a vision of a great multitude of people, coming from every corner of humanity. These people have come together to celebrate a great victory. The Lamb of God, the only begotten Son of the Most High God, Jesus was victorious in His battle against the old evil foe. Waving palm branches of victory, this crowd of white robed people gives voice to the song of victory. Jesus, who was slain, has defeated once and for all the great enemy, the devil. Jesus’ death spelled the doom of the tempter, and brought freedom to souls held captive by sin and death.
This victory of Jesus is the focus for All Saints Day. With joy, mixed with the sorrow of loss, we remember those saints who have died in the faith, and now rest from their labors. The hope we have is born of the victory Jesus won when He took our death into His body, suffered pain and torment on the cross, died and was buried. On the third day He rose again in triumph over all His enemies.
God saves a humble people, but the haughty, He casts away. God is a friend to those who know, because of their sin, they have no hope – nothing to offer in and of themselves to God that He would accept them save Christ Jesus alone. Yet – to those who forsake God and His Word, who see no need for a Savior, who think that they are good in and of themselves the Lord will reject. The humble are those who hope in the Lord, the God who shed His own blood that He would be to us a blessing.
It is in this, the hope of Jesus resurrection that we gather as a church to give thanks to God for the faithful who have died in the Lord, and ask our blessed Savior to keep us steadfast in this Word, faith and victory, until we join with all the white robbed saints around the throne of the Lamb in His kingdom, which shall have no end.