Today started off very strange. I woke up a bit late, jumped into the car and drove to the gym to tackle a very tiring training run before coffee. After dragging in from a run, I took a quick shower and drove my oldest through the drive thru of Dunkin’ Donuts for a quick breakfast and coffee (for me). Our total? $6.66. (Yes, I had the same response and asked the cashier to add another item to change the total of my bill, which she agreed followed by nervous laughter.)
“666” is a symbol of the mark of the beast highlighted in Revelation 13 where it reads, “Let the one with understanding reckon the meaning of the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. His number is 666.” Needless to say, the number is not a favorable one no matter how it is used.
Symbols such as 666 are recognizable everywhere. In fact, this cashier knew it’s meaning and its unfavorablity. That’s what symbols are used for…to take the form of words, sounds, gestures, ideas or visual images and are used to convey other ideas and beliefs.
Take the picture of me with my race number located on my forehead. (I was very convicted of this process, since I was relating to the infamous mark of the beast.) I asked the race volunteer of its purpose, which she quickly responded, “The bib usually gets ripped off in the first twenty minutes. This lets us identify you in case you get seriously injured and can’t tell us your information.” I had to thoughts from her response: first, what did I sign up for and mark me, I want to be identified.
I did, however, remember the words of Paul and his words found in Ephesians 1:13, “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit.”
Would you believe that throughout the 13.1 miles of mud my bib remained in tact and still read my bib number clearly?
So, what does it mean to be marked by Christ?
We believers belong to the Lord. So, whether I wear a number on my forehead, display a Run for God sticker on my bib or car, I already belong to Him. The other displayed symbols are meaningless.
His sealing is a message of safety and security in God’s love and power. God sends the Holy Spirit as a preserving seal to lock in our faith, as an authenticating seal to validate our sonship. Listen to me when I say that you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit which is the guarantee of our inheritance.
Remember this next time you feel marked by others.