Revelation 2:8 Write to the angel of the church in Smyrna: Thus says the First and the Last, the one who was dead and came to life
Jesus as the First and the Last is indeed the LORD, Himself (Isaiah 41:4; 44:6; 48:12). This speaks to His eternality, as well as His deity as God. Jesus as the one who was dead and came to life speaks to His resurrection from the dead during His earthly ministry. Thus, He alone is victorious over sin and death!
Jesus comforts the church in Smyrna in their affliction and persecution for their faith in Jesus. Even though He prophecies further suffering for the believers, Jesus reassures them of the victory of eternal life they have in Him as they persevere and don’t give up. This is good news because even in the midst of persecution for being a Christian, we know we have ultimate victory and will receive the crown of life directly from Jesus.
When have you felt threatened or fearful to keep your commitment to follow Jesus?