A few years ago a teacher friend – and then the book he recommended (Discipleship on the Edge) – gave me an insight into Revelation 5 that is seared into my mind. I took the opportunity to speak about in an earlier post.
Well, as soon as I read today’s passages, I knew I’d mention these verses again. So here they are:
And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” … I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it.
And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”
And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain…. …when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb….
And they sang a new song, saying,
“Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” (Revelation 5:2-10 ESV)
I was overwhelmed when I first heard this point: only one person was worthy to open the scroll of revelation–
The conquering lion.
But as John looks to the throne where the lion stands, he sees instead–
The slain lamb.
In fact I learned that the word translated lamb is really lambkins or baby lamb.
Our conquering lion is a slain lambkins!!
Wow. Jesus is always turning things topsy turvy. The way up is down. He who loses his life will gain it. The first shall be last. And here again.
What makes someone a conquering lion? He dies a sacrificial lamb.
God created a kingdom through His conquering lion. But this lion did not conquer by might. This lamb conquered through the Cross.
Through the Cross, this lamb conquered sin and death. Through the Cross, this lamb purchased a people out of sin’s slavery. Through the Cross, this lamb established a kingdom of people who likewise conquer through death.
For as we die to sin, we live to righteousness. As we die to strength, we live to weakness (and self reliance).
As we die to self, we live to Jesus.
We were ransomed by Jesus’ blood so that we could reign in Jesus’ topsy turvy kingdom, reaching out as His priests to a world that desperately needs our slain lamb.
Amos 6:1 – 7:17, Psalm 142: 1-7, Proverbs 29:27, Revelation 5:1-14. See About for what I’m up to with these daily posts. Your daily blogger, Holiday Longing (Reproduce with permission only)