Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood (Revelation 22:14-15).
Here we are given the seventh and final beatitude (‘blessed are”). Those who are blessed are those who wash their robes. The word John uses for “wash” appears only one other time in this book. On that occasion, John uses this to describe the international multitude dressed in white robes: “they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14). What is promised here comes because of the work of Jesus - He has made us pure.
If we are a part of this multitude, then we are called blessed for we “have the right to the tree of life.” When Adam and Eve fell into sin, God barred them from the tree “lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever” (Genesis 3:22b). As mentioned in a previous post, this is astounding for it speaks about access to a life from which we have been kept our whole existence. We will live in a manner we never thought possible.
In addition to access to the tree of life, those with washed robes are also given entrance to the city. If you have been reading these posts, then we can both say we have heard much concerning this city. Glorious metaphors are used throughout these chapters to describe a city that is wondrous beyond anything we know.
One way to grasp the greatness of this blessing is to ponder the plight of those who do not know this blessing. This reality is summarized for us in the next verse (22:15). While those with washed robes may enter the city, those whose lives are marked by rebellion stand “outside.” The tragically sad picture of being “outside” serves to underscore the truth that because our robes have been washed in the blood of the Lamb, we can say: “We are blessed!”