Before we come to the Lord's table tonight, I want us to look together to the Scriptures and to the book of Revelation which we have been studying now for many months and we find ourselves in the eighth chapter. We're going to cover a few verses tonight because we want to take advantage of the opportunity to keep progressing through this majestic tribute to the coming Christ. So look with me at chapter 8 and let me read you the first five verses.
Revelation chapter 8, beginning then in verse 1, "And when He broke the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour; and I saw the seven angels who stand before God and seven trumpets were given to them. And another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer and much incense was given to him that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne; and the smoke of the incense with the prayers of the saints went up before God out of the angel's hand. And the angel took the censer and he filled it with the fire of the altar and threw it to the earth. And there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning and an earthquake."
The climactic judgment event that ends man's control and Satan's rule on earth is called the day of the Lord. And that term describes the final takeover of God, as He takes the world and the universe that is rightfully His from the usurper. The day of the Lord involves a final holocaust of furious and wholesale deadly destruction.
Now we have already learned that before the day of the Lord hits there will be a series of judgments that express the wrath of God on the wicked world. There will be some preliminary judgments leading up to the day of the Lord. They're described in the first five seals, back in chapter 6, and you will remember them if you've been with us. Those first five seals in verses 1 through 11 of chapter 6 are horrifying expressions of the vengeance of God on sinners.
You will then remember that there followed those first five, obviously, a sixth seal, beginning in verse 12, at which point, I believe, the day of the Lord begins because the description of the sixth seal is so very parallel to biblical testimony to the character and nature of the day of the Lord.
The first five seals, you remember, are these...false peace, war, famine, death, and vengeance...vengeance being illustrated by the prayer of the martyrs there in chapter 6 verses 9 to 11. And by that time, by the time you've gone through the first five seals, hundreds of millions of people across the earth have been killed. Then in verse 12 of chapter 6 hits the sixth seal and that begins the day of the Lord, the day prophesied by the Old Testament prophets predicting exactly what God would do in final judgment, testified to even by our Lord Jesus Christ as well as the New Testament writers.
Now as we enter chapter 8, the full fury of the day of the Lord has already begun. It started with the sixth seal and we now find ourselves in the seventh seal, as noted in verse 1. And I believe that this seventh seal is best understood to contain all of the final judgments, all that is described here by way of judgment is an earthquake when the angel throws the fiery censer to the earth, thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning and an earthquake.
But I believe there's much more to the seventh seal than just an earthquake. I'm convinced that it's best understood to include within that seventh seal the seven trumpet judgments which follow immediately in chapter 8, and the seven bowl judgments which follow a little later in the book of Revelation.
The first six seals then were somewhat simple, that is to say they opened and are rather simply and directly described. This one is more complex. The first seemed to be opened in a moment, this one while being opened in a moment then leads to fourteen following judgments that are opened sequentially. So this one takes more development, it's more complex, and that seems to fit as the judgments begin to mount in speed and power and devastation.
The earlier seals, the first five, filled up the prolonged years and months of the seven-year period known as the Great Tribulation, and I believe the first five seals take us pass the midpoint, as we've tried to point out in this series, pass the midpoint of the Tribulation so it takes three and a half, four, maybe even five years for those first five seals to take place. And we're well into the second half, the time known as the Great Tribulation, I think, when the fullness of the sixth seal really hits. And we don't know precisely the time table.
But once the seventh seal is opened and out of it comes trumpets and bowls, it's going to take time for these to develop. For example, in chapter 9 and verse 10 there is a description of what happens under the fifth trumpet. And it says that what happens involves scorpions with stings and their tails have power to hurt men for five months. And that tells us that the blowing of the trumpets and the effect of those trumpet judgments is going to stretch out over months. So when the seventh seal is opened and the judgments begin, they're going to take days and weeks and even months before they're completed. We don't know exactly the time table.
Some believe that they are not sequential. That is, seven seals and then the seventh seal issuing in seven trumpets, and the seven trumpets issuing in seven final rapid-fire bowl judgments. Some would make them a bit more simultaneous, seven seals and at the end somewhere around the sixth and seventh seal you have the seven trumpets, and then somewhere right in the seventh seal you have the seven bowls. It's hard to be dogmatic about that. I think the way the book lays out chronologically, it seems to be reasonable to assume you go through the seventh seal, the seventh seal is opened, you have seven trumpets, the seventh trumpet is blown, you have seven bowls and so they really, the last fourteen judgments, bowls and trumpets, are contained within that final seal. So this is the rapid-fire final holocaust, it's going to take some time to fully unfold, and even some time for us to fully describe as we study through the chapters ahead of us.
But here is the opening of the seventh seal and this is the last seal on the little scroll that I believe equates with the title deed to the universe, sealed in order that there might be no revelation of what is contained in it, and then opened and the revelation of not only what is there, but the actual action takes place as it's unrolled.
Now you have the seventh seal and as its opened I just point you to four things in these five verses...silence, supplication, sounding and storm. And those four words alliterated just so you can remember them, will give us a feeling of what this seventh seal is about and give us some insight into it.
Let's take the one silence, the simple word silence is obviously drawn out of verse 1. "And when He broke the seventh seal there was silence in heaven for about half an hour." The one who broke the seventh seal is the Lamb, mentioned in verse 17, He is the one who took the scroll out of the Father's hand on the throne, He is the one who is the heir to the universe, He is the one who is breaking open the seals, that's why in your version of the Bible you probably have the word "He" capitalized. The Lord Jesus then breaks the seventh seal. The six judgments are passed. The seventh one is now opened. The Lamb, the Lord Jesus, the heir to the universe breaks open that sixth seal...that seventh seal, rather, and as He breaks the seventh seal open amazingly it says there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.
It's kind of an interesting turn of events, when you think about it. Mankind has often complained about the silence of God, sometimes even expressing the complaint of the psalmist who said, "May our God come and not keep silence." Up till then in some ways angels and men have been noisy, but God has been silent. And now God is about to speak in the full fury of judgment and angels and redeemed men in heaven are silent. The tables are turned.
The prophet Zechariah called for such silence in the light of God's glorious judgment, chapter 2 verse 13, "Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord for He has aroused from His holy habitation," Zechariah 2:13. So when the Lamb opens the last seal, all of those in heaven know what it means. It means the end has come.
The final judgment is about to be unleashed. There are no more seals. The scene in heaven has been very noisy. We all know God loves noise, a joyful noise, loud singing. And He's been having all of that, four living beings have been praising Him, twenty-four elders have been singing of the praise not only of God the Father but of the Lamb, innumerable angels, there have been harps, there has been thunder, angels saying...Come...praying martyrs under the altar, singing Tribulation saints. There's been an awful lot of noise in heaven, the noise of praise.
But when the seventh seal is broken and what is to happen becomes visible as the scroll is unrolled, and the implication is they can all see what it says, they are reduced to utter silence. And all the triumphant ringing hallelujahs, all the exaltation halts. And I think it is the silence of awe, it is the silence of the anticipation of the grim reality of what is coming as well as the joyous reality of the exaltation of Christ and the devastation of Satan and sin. This half hour of silence is the calm before the storm, the silence of foreboding, the silence of expectation, the silence of awe.
It's interesting that John measures the time in his vision experience as about half an hour. Absolute silence in that large crowd of innumerable angels running into the millions, absolute dead silence for half an hour would seem like an eternity. The margin of suspenseful expectancy seems to us brief, but it must have seemed to him very long.
Some have even suggested that it is a brief half hour for a few more on earth to repent before the next wave of judgment hits, a brief half hour of agonizing suspense. The wicked are about to be destroyed, the Lord Jesus Christ is about to be exalted. The greatest event since the fall of Adam is about to come, it is so stunning, it is so glorious, it is so right, it is so fulfilling, it is so satisfying that heaven stands in utter stillness, all of its praise is absolutely silent. The hour has finally come. The saints are to be vindicated. Satan is to be conquered. Sin is to be punished. And Christ is to be exalted.
Then there's a second thing we should note and that is the sounding. Look at verse 2, "And I saw the seven angels who stand before God and seven trumpets were given to them." Here's another component in this scene. Here are the angels and John sees seven of them. Now angels always seem to play a very important part in the judgment of the final day, and we won't take the time to track that all through the teaching of Scripture, but certainly if you give any attention to Matthew chapter 13, Matthew chapter 24, chapter 25, those things that look ahead to the time of judgment in the end, you see the important role that angels play. And here we find that John sees seven angels. In fact, they're not just any seven angels, but notice they're described, "I saw the seven angels who stand before God." There's a definite article there which is kind of interesting. It seems to indicate that there is a unique group of angels, some theologians have labeled these angels the presence angels...seven special angels who stand in the presence of God. Maybe that's not unusual, maybe all the angels do that. Perhaps they just kind are fit in to all of the angels and are merely seven select, perhaps they are unique, hard to know. These angels have been worshiping God since the time of their creation. If you read Psalm 104 verses 1 to 5 you might conclude there that they were created at the time of the creation of the universe. And since that time they've been worshiping God and serving God in the ways that God designed them to do.
But here are seven angels who are the ones who stand before God. They don't seem to be just run-of-the-mill angels, the definite article, the unique statement, "who stand before God," kind of notes that they have a special duty, they are the enopion angels, the presence angels.
Now remember, the angels are divided into all kinds of ranks and orders. The New Testament talks about angels who are powers, some of them care called principalities, some of them are called rulers, some are called dominions, some are called, in the Old Testament, cherubim, some are called seraphim, some are called archangels. There are varying ranks and orders of angels, dependent on God's purpose and design as He created them.
There is one possibility that we can identify a presence angel, maybe one out of these seven could be a unique one, but the interesting statement in Luke 1:19, "The angel answered and said to him, `I am Gabriel who stands in the presence of God.'" Basically the same notation there of Gabriel that's noted of these seven here. Maybe they're highly exalted angels like Gabriel. If Gabriel is identifying himself as an exalted angel by saying "I'm one of the angels who stands in the presence of God," then these seven must also be high-ranking angels.
In the fifteenth chapter of the book of Revelation and verse 7, you might be interested to know that there are seven angels with seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God. One of the four living creatures, living beings, gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls. There you have seven angels who are not said to be standing in the presence of God. Perhaps they are not designated as presence angels because they're a different order of angels, hard to know. But here you have in chapter 8 verse 2 the use of the definite article and it may denote them as a special group of angels. Certainly if they weren't special before this, they got special when they do what they're about to do. And their duty is to sound out judgment on seven trumpets, seven trumpets were given to them.
Now trumpets were used for many things in Scripture. If you've studied the Bible you know that. They are the most used and most significant instrument in the Scripture. The only thing that comes even close would be a harp or a stringed instrument, but trumpets were used for very important events. Let me just give you a little list of them.
Trumpets are used to declare war. Trumpets are used to assemble the people, to announce great convocations, or celebrations. Trumpets are used to introduce kings. And trumpets were used to call attention to Almighty God.
Here in the book of Revelation trumpets are primarily used to announce judgment. But also, along with announcing judgment, as these angels will blow their trumpets and judgment will fall, they are also used in the very ways that I just described to you that are characteristic of trumpet use in the Old Testament.
For example, the trumpet of war announces the last great battle of God, the battle of Armageddon. The trumpet of assembly, the one that called the people together calls forth all the saints to the Kingdom gathering, and even calls the Rapture of the church at an earlier time. It is also the trumpet of convocation, the one that was blown to announce jubilees and festivals that will bring the great call of the greatest festival, the celebration of the reign of Jesus Christ. There will be a trumpet to proclaim the King's arrival, announcing the return and reign of Christ. Trumpets use fits all of these typical things and certainly signifies that attention be given to the majesty of God.
Trumpets in the book of Revelation are also used to hail the fall of Babylon and they were used in ancient times to hail the fall of cities. So trumpets had many uses, and it's almost as if all of those historic uses kind of come together in the trumpets that are blown in this book. So these seven angels hold seven trumpets and each of them when blown will unleash a specific judgment.
Verse 6 tells us, "And the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound them." Verse 7 says, "The first sounded..." Verse 8, "The second angel sounded..." Verse 10, "The third angel sounded..." Verse 12, "The fourth angel sounded..." Chapter 9 verse 1, "The fifth angel sounded..." And down into chapter 9 verse 13, "The sixth angel sounded..." And clear over in chapter 11 verse 15, "The seventh angel sounded..." They're prepared for a sounding. They're standing on the brink of the announcement of terrifying judgment.
Just to give you a brief preview, when the first angel sounds, hail and fire mixed with blood are thrown to the earth. When the second angel sounds, something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea. We remember, don't we, the collapse of the universe certainly fits that. Verse 10, when the third angel sounds a great star fell from heaven burning like a torch. Verse 12, when the fourth angel sounded, a third of the sun, a third of the moon, a third of the stars were smitten so the third of them might be darkened and the day might not shine for a third of it and the night in the same way. Chapter 9, the fifth angel sounded and I saw a star from heaven which had fallen to the earth and the key of the bottomless pit was given to him and he opened the bottomless pit and smoke went up out of the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace. Verse 13, the sixth angel sounded, I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar and a great army is gathered, an army of two hundred million. Chapter 11 verse 15, the seventh angel sounds, there's loud voices in heaven crying, the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ. Then out of that seventh sounding come those final seven bowl judgments.
So as the seventh seal is broken there is silence and there are angels poised for sounding. And that's one of the reasons I believe that these angels make up the components of the seventh seal.
A third word that helps us in this text is supplication, and this is fascinating to me...supplication. And at this point another figure grasps John's attention. Verse 3, "And another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer and much incense was given to him that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne." Here's another angel. He's doing a very interesting thing. He's standing at the altar and he's holding a golden censer which would be on some kind of rope or a chain, and much incense is given to him that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
You have two altars there. And that was the way it was in the temple in the tabernacle of old, you had the brazen altar, and then you had the altar of incense. The brazen altar was basically the altar used to fire the coals to burn the sacrifices for sin. And the altar of incense was where you poured the incense and the fragrance of the incense arose and was emblematic of the prayers of the people.
Typically, the priests would go to the brazen altar and he would take with tongs out of the brazen altar hot, fiery coals and he would put them in the censer which was just a little instrument by which he could transport these flaming coals. He would fill that little censer with the coals and he would take it in to the golden altar, which was the altar of incense, and he would put those coals on the altar of incense mixed with incense and they would rise, the smell of that incense would rise to the nostrils of God, as it were, symbolically speaking of the prayers of the people.
This angel is functioning like an Old Testament priest, he's standing there at the altar, he's got the golden censer in his hand. He gets the incense, probably given to him from God since God is the giver in this scene, in order that he might take this incense and the hot coals from that brazen altar, that symbolic brazen altar in the scene that John's having and they might go into the golden altar and put this down on the golden altar, mingled with all the rest of the prayers of the saints that are already there.
Because of this priestly work of this angel, some commentators have felt that this angel may be Jesus Christ, maybe the Lord Jesus Christ Himself in His role as High Priest. That is possible, but doesn't seem best and I'll give you a couple of reasons why. First of all, the Lord Jesus Christ is already identified in this scene by what title...the Lamb. He is clearly identified as the Lamb in the heavenly scene. In fact, just two verses prior at the end of chapter 7, the Lamb is in the center of the throne. Here is another angel who is standing by the altar, just simple reading would tell you this is not the Lamb. Furthermore, in Revelation 22:8 and 9, John is severely rebuked for trying to worship an angel. If worshiping an angel is wrong, you certainly wouldn't want to identify Jesus as an angel, that would confuse the issue.
he mention of seven angels also in verse 2 seems to define the use of the word "angel" in the context, whatever those seven were, this one must be as well since he bears the same name, angel. No, New Testament usage of the word "angel" is ever ascribed to Jesus Christ. The Old Testament, He can be referred to as the angel of the Lord, but that's a preincarnate title and He's never called an angel in the New Testament. So it's best to see this an angel of some exalted place, not the Lord Jesus Christ. Everywhere Jesus Christ appears in the Revelation He is clearly identified, He is alpha, omega, He is Jesus Christ, He is the faithful witness, firstborn of the dead, ruler of the kings of the earth. He is Son of Man, He is the first and last, the resurrected One, the Son of God, the Son of David, the Lion of Judah, the Lamb, the root of David, Christ, faithful and true, the Word of God, King of kings, Lord of lords, the beginning and the end, but He's never called an angel.
So some angel stood at the altar. This is the place where the angels' action begins and it's amazing action. This is the heavenly counterpart, as I said, to the brazen altar where the fires of sacrifice for sin burned. The angel is there to gather fire into his censer. It says he has a golden censer. He filled it with fiery coals to ignite...he would take it and ignite the altar of incense, but at this particular point the imagery seems to indicate the altar of incense is already burning, it's already burning and the prayers of saints are already going up and they're praying for Satan to be defeated, and sin to be destroyed and Christ to come. They're praying, as we saw in chapter 6 verses 9 to 11, as the prayer of the martyrs...How long, O Lord, how long before You take vengeance and how long before Christ is exalted? And God gives this angel more incense to go in to add to the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which is before the throne. By the way, the brazen altar was on the outside, the golden altar was on the inside of the holy place, right up against the veil of the Holy of Holies.
Twice a day the high priest would do this, once in the morning and once in the evening, at the morning sacrifice and at the evening sacrifice. The priest would go to the brazen altar and he would get fire, he would mingle it with incense, take it in right before the Holy of Holies, right by the veil, put it on the golden altar, and he would ignite that and it would send the incense upward and it was symbolizing exactly what the people were doing outside. For at the very time that he was doing that they were outside praying.
Back in Luke you get a very practical account of this. Chapter 1 verse 8, "It came about while Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, was performing his priestly service before God in the appointed order of his division, that is in the ranking of priests, they serve so many times during the year, it was his period to do that, he was doing his service...verse 9 says...according to the custom of the priestly office he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. And the whole multitude of the people were in prayer outside at the hour of the incense offering." So the people are all outside and they're praying and pleading with God and petitioning, and he goes inside and symbolically lights and ignites the altar of incense.
Here you have this angel doing it and it symbolizes the accumulated prayers of all the saints. Notice the word "all" is used there that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints, all the prayers of the saints that have gone up, that are going up calling for Christ to come are all accumulated.
Verse 4, "And the smoke of the incense with the prayers of the saints went up before God out of the angel's hand." The residue that he still had in the censer, he went in and did what he was to do at the golden altar, still had a residue in the censer. There's still some fiery coals and some burning incense. And it's still in his hand. And the sense of anticipation as this prayer rises, it's rising off the golden altar and it's even rising out of the censer.
And that leads to the final word for tonight, that's the word "storm." Here comes a divine fire storm. Watch what the angel does. "And the angel took the censer which is still smoldering and smoking, and he filled it with the fire of the altar. He filled it full and threw it to the earth; and there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning and an earthquake."
Do you remember what I told you about the sixth seal? We went through the description of the sixth seal here and the day of the Lord, passages in the Old Testament, how the sky begins to collapse and the heavens roll up and the celestial bodies start flying all over the place and crashing into the world, and we went through all of that kind of thing. This is another description of that in heavenly terms. As the trumpets blow, as we read you a few moments ago, you see other things smashing and crashing and careening into the earth. And here is this flaming ball coming out of heaven that smashes the earth like a celestial comet, like a meteor, it is propelled to the earth with severe results. It is destructive.
In Matthew chapter 13 the Lord says that the angels who assist Him in the judgment are going to bring fire upon sinful men. It tells us in verse 30 of Matthew 13 that tares are going to be bound up in bundles and burned. Later on in verses 41 and 42 that the angels are going to come, they're going to gather all the stumbling blocks and all those who commit lawlessness and throw them into a furnace of fire. Fire is associated with that final judgment. The Lord will destroy through fire.
And so this powerful angel hurls this thing out of heaven and it crashes into the earth. And, you know, what is an amazing connection here, and I want you to get this, that censer in the angel's hand is inextricably linked to the prayers of those people, isn't it? Because where did the angel get the fire? He went in there with the added incense and the flaming coals and put it in, mixed it in with all the prayers already going on, and then when it got all mixed together, he then reached in and took some out and put it in his censer. And what the Scripture is saying is that the final holocaust of judgment that is hurdled at the earth in the seventh seal is in direct response to the prayers of God's people. What a thought...what a thought.
You think prayers aren't powerful? It is in response to the prayers of God's people. He will hear His saints and judgment will fall. How amazing that the prayers of the saints become the fiery comets that strike the earth. There followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning and an earthquake. That's probably what Paul has in mind when he writes these very unforgettable words, "For after all, it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire." Now, of course, Paul there in 2 Thessalonians 1 is talking about the final coming of Christ, but the flaming fire starts before the final end.
What about this earthquake? Well there's no description. There have already been earthquakes...chapter 6 verse 12 described a great earthquake. It would be my conviction that this is probably got to be its equal or maybe a surpassing one. A terrible, terrifying earthquake. This is what the world has to look forward to. And as I said, coming out of this seventh seal, horrors that are so shocking and we'll see them unfold in the weeks to come. And you ask yourself the question...why is it that during that period of time when the gospel is preached all over the earth, as we learned in chapter 7, a hundred and forty-four thousand Jewish evangelists are preaching the gospel, an angel is flying through space preaching the gospel, two witnesses are preaching the gospel at some point there, they even are killed and rise from the dead, making their testimony, sealing the validity of their testimony. Then you've got all the people being converted preaching the gospel. Then you've got the gospel according to Matthew 24:14 being spread to the ends of the earth. Why in the midst of all the holocaust and disasters and judgment, why don't people believe? You say if I was there, I'd sign on. There's no way I'd be hanging around when seal seven hit in defiance against God. Why will people still be in unbelief? Why when salvation has been offered and judgment has been tasted? Why? And the answer is the same answer that Jesus gave in John 3, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life, for God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged, he who does not believe has been judged already because he's not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." Why? "And this is the judgment that light has come into the world and men loved darkness rather than light for their deeds were evil."
They love sin. They love it even through the Tribulation they love it. They love it. The prophet of old asked, "Why will you die?" Ezekiel 33, "Why will you die? Turn ye, turn ye, why will you die?" "I have no pleasure...He writes...in the death of the wicked." Why will you die? But they will. And they do.
God's provision in Jesus Christ is so that we need not die in our sins, right? And we don't need to suffer this horrible fate and a worst fate, eternal hell. Why will you die? Why, Jesus said, will you not come to Me that you might have life? The answer...Men love darkness because their deeds are evil, they love their sin, but their sin damns them.
We're here tonight at this very table because by God's grace we've turned from sin. We will not die, will we? I don't want to die and go to hell, I don't want to die in my sins and never be able to go where Jesus is, I don't want to suffer a fate like that described in the seventh seal. And there's no need to. God offers in the grace of Christ deliverance, salvation, rescue, hope for all who receive His Son. And here we are as Christians who know and love the Lord Jesus Christ and we read all of this, we have no fear, do we? We have no fear, this isn't for us. This isn't for us because we have been redeemed by God's grace. We take no credit for that. We put out the humble hand of a beggar and received a gift.
It is tragic beyond all description that the world will die in its sins and reject and reject...they rejected Jesus when He came, they reject His gospel now, they'll reject when they taste the furies of final judgment because they love their sin. And I'm so thankful, aren't you, for the grace of God that reached out to you and to me, called us away from our sin. Because of that we have no fear of these things. Because of that our hearts grieve for the lost, but rejoice for what shall belong to Christ and in Him to us. Let's pray.
Father, we thank You that You have promised us that there is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. You have promised us that we shall not perish but have everlasting life because of Christ. As we come to His table tonight, to remember His death, to remember His sacrifice which provides our redemption, fill our hearts with gratitude and give us again, Lord, a new and a fresh desire to live the kind of life that our salvation calls for, one that truly is a life of gratitude and exaltation of the one who died that we might live.