"Sardis represents those who live “only the external sign of charity and faith.” In the letter to Sardis they are challenged to continue to learn the truth with the realization that what they learn is only confirmed within them if they act lovingly from the truth they understand. They are promised that “to those that overcome shall be clothed in white.” “In the Word, ‘white’ is predicated of goods because it draws its origins from the light of the sun.”
In his letter to the church of Sardis, the author recognizes the Christiancommunity as “having the reputation of being alive,” then gravely adds, “but you are dead.” (Rev. 3:1). As recent converts from Judaism, the church community would know the symbolism in the author’s warning – live the word of God so that your name can be written in the Book of Life (the allegorical book in Jewish and Christian teachings where God records the names and lives of the righteous) or continue to sin and be recorded in the Book of the Dead. Jesus rebukes them for losing their spiritual passion and living on past glories. He tells the community to build on what is left of their faith or suffer His judgment.
For those who are victorious over their spiritual lethargy, the Son of Man will clothe them in a white robe, symbolic of their triumph over a spiritual death, and assure that their names be forever found in the Book of Life.
Having been admonished by Christ that their church is “dead” to the passion of their faith, the gift granted to the Christian community for a reawakening of their spiritual integrity is being clothed in white, representative of religious purity, faith and life, and their names forever written in the Book of Life. The Sardis angel’s face is one of absolute beauty that belies the resolute strength within. White drapery glass swathes with subtle color changes from yellow to green to blue in the folds of robe, swathes the angel figure. A breastplate, visible at the figure’s upper right torso, is predominantly white with a collar embellished in yellow ripple glass and chunk jewels. The tunic beneath the armor is trimmed by yellow ripple glass. In his left hand, the Sardis angel carries the Book of Life, depicted in mottled glass to imitate animal fur.