So, if you are wondering where the image of the grim reaper came into being, you have just discovered it. Pretty grim, isn’t it? I find it interesting that the people of God, those who follow the Lamb, who is Jesus, are also given marks on their forehead to distinguish themselves as well. So if you ever do speak with people who believe that a literal 144,000 shall be saved keep in mind that those who are saved according to that thinking and according to this verse will only be men and, according to vs.4, will only be virgins. I think that would leave out just about all of us. I’m sure that those who take these verses literally probably skip this area.
But we find these angels with sickles who come and reap. If you look at Matthew 9:35-38 you hear Jesus refer directly to a harvest that is to take place, but he is bemoaning the fact that the harvest is plentiful but those who would do the reaping are far and few between. He is speaking about the potential that there is for people of God to reach out and let others know about the love of God. It is something to receive the love of God, but it seems to be much harder to pass it on to other people.
Don’t allow the grim reaper imagery to scare you off, but rather, as we heard this past Sunday, once you are certain of your salvation you can live your life without fear. The image of being thrown into a wine vat and trampled so that blood rises 180 miles is pretty sobering. Just take comfort in the fact that we have assurances in Scripture that Jesus will be our ally in life and in our resurrection. Praise be to God!