“They called out in a loud voice, ‘How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?’”Revelation 6:10
Luther was very aware of the real threat to his life for taking a stand for truth. He was told to retract his teachings, and after a day of sober reflection, he replied with the now-famous words, “I cannot do otherwise, here I stand, may God help me.” He said he was bound to the truth and could not waver in his resolve to teach the gospel of grace. A price was put on his head, but he continued faithfully laboring in the service of truth.
There will always be a price to pay when we stand for truth. In today’s reading, we’re given a glimpse into the throne room, and depicted there are those who have lost their lives for their witness to Christ. They cry out, “How long, Sovereign Lord!” They cry out for justice, and rightly so. The answer? They receive a white robe, and they’re told to wait. We’re not very good at waiting, are we?
Justice is coming, and God’s kingdom will prevail. We can wait patiently for justice, knowing we’ve received something even better than justice—the white robes of Christ’s righteousness!
“The body they may kIll:/ God’s truth abideth still;/ His kingdom is forever!”
(Martin Luther, 1535)