"And they overcame him (he who accused them) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death." (Revelations 12:11 NKJV)
On Boxing Day the Church's texts focus on martyrs. The word martyr is derived from the Greek word “martys” and which means witness, or blood witness, i.e. someone who has paid with their lives for their faith.
In the plant world a seed or a root is pushed into the earth and dies, in order for new plants to grow. It’s the same with the kingdom of God. Many Christians have given their lives as seed. The martyrs we have seen in history have been men who loved other people above their own lives. They have refused to compromise their faith and they have boldly testified about it.
The first well-known Christian martyr was Stephen. While being stoned to death, he asks: ‘Lord, do not ask them to answer for this sin.’ This made a deep impression on Paul, and was undoubtedly a step in the process that led Paul to believe. And Paul, in turn, has since been leading millions of people to Christ.
Today's scripture speaks of two weapons that God has given us in order to resist Satan's attacks. One is the blood of the Lamb and the other is our testimony. The blood of the Lamb, i.e. Jesus' blood, cleanses us from all sin, and refers to our eternal salvation, in which death can not touch us. Our testimony is when we tell others about this salvation.
Stephen’s testimony of salvation led to his death, but the same witness defeated the power of death in his life.
Jesus, thank you for giving us eternal salvation through Your blood. Thank You that because of that salvation we need not fear death. Help us to be faithful to You no matter what happens in our lives.