Revelation #13 Revelation 5:1-14 (MSG) The Lion Is A Lamb!
Revelation #13 Revelation 5:1-14 (MSG) The Lion Is A
has done his best to describe the throne room of God. This is a grand celestial sanctuary, a place
of awe, reverence, and worship. It is
more majestic and beautiful than words can capture. For me, it brought back memories of an Easter
Sunrise service at Hanuma Bay in Hawaii, the expanse of sea and sky, the sun
blindingly bright on the horizon. But here we get so much more, we get a
glimpse of God’s sovereignty, His Holiness, and His power. Here is the One who is the ultimate
authority, the One who is in charge of all creation. But John can’t describe the One seated upon
Master, Jesus Christ, is on his way. He'll show up right on time, his arrival
guaranteed by the Blessed and Undisputed Ruler, High King, High God. He's the
only one death can't touch, his light so bright no one can get close. He's
never been seen by human eyes—human eyes can't take him in! Honor to him, and
eternal rule! Oh, yes.
spirit (John 4:24). God’s being is so
gloriously brilliant that even Moses could not look upon Him (Exodus
33:21-23). There is only one human who
has seen (John 6:46), and Jesus is about to enter this sacred place.
heavenly vision continues.
Revelation 5:1-3 (MSG)
saw a scroll in the right hand of the One Seated on the Throne. It was written
on both sides, fastened with seven seals. I also saw a powerful Angel, calling
out in a voice like thunder, "Is there anyone who can open the scroll, who
can break its seals?" There was no one—no one in Heaven, no one on Earth,
no one from the underworld—able to break open the scroll and read it.
scroll is in the right hand of God which means God holds ultimate power and
authority over the contents of the scroll. The scroll itself is the unfolding
plan for humanity’s redemption, for the renewal of the earth, for making things
the way they were intended to be in the beginning when all was declared good.
That the scroll is written on both sides suggests that what is contained is
detailed and comprehensive. This is the scroll of destiny. It contains the
final stages for God’s redemptive plan “the overthrow of evil, and the
gathering of the redeemed to enjoy the blessings of God’s rule (Ladd, p 81).
That the scroll is sealed means that there is more to come, that there are
things yet to take place necessary to usher the consummation of the Kingdom.
call goes out throughout the universe, throughout all creation, for someone
worthy to open the scroll allowing God’s plan to unfold. If no one can open the scroll it means life
is meaningless. It means that tomorrow
will be the same as yesterday, as the writer of Ecclesiastes wrote, there will
be nothing new under the sun. Human suffering and misery will continue, there
is no purpose to life. “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die” (1
Corinthians 15:32). This is why John sobs in pain, in the realization that if
no one can open the scroll it means there is no purpose, no goal, no arrival. God’s
end game is permanently postponed.
Revelation 5:4-5 (MSG)
wept and wept and wept that no one was found able to open the scroll, able to
read it. One of the Elders said, "Don't weep. Look—the Lion from
Tribe Judah, the Root of David's Tree, has conquered. He can open the scroll,
can rip through the seven seals."
Lions are a symbol of strength,
courage, and of royalty. There is a prophecy concerning the Messiah in Genesis
49:9. From the tribe of Judah the lion
Messiah will come. Jesus is a member of
the tribe of Judah. King David is Jesus’ 27th
11:1). Jewish tradition used the symbol
of the lion to represent the Messiah. The prophecy foretells that the Lion
Messiah will be a powerful victorious ruler.
Isaiah 11:1-5 (MSG)
A green Shoot will sprout from
Jesse's stump, from his roots a budding Branch. The life-giving Spirit of God
will hover over him, the Spirit that brings wisdom and understanding, The
Spirit that gives direction and builds strength, the Spirit that instills
knowledge and Fear-of-God. Fear-of-God will be all his joy and delight. He
won't judge by appearances, won't decide on the basis of hearsay. He'll judge
the needy by what is right, render decisions on earth's poor with justice. His
words will bring everyone to awed attention. A mere breath from his lips will
topple the wicked. Each morning he'll pull on sturdy work clothes and boots, and
build righteousness and faithfulness in the land.
Finally, some vindication for
what the churches have suffered at the hands of their oppressors. The Lion is
going to tear the opposition to shreds. Jesus is the one worthy to open the
scroll of destiny and now He enters the throne room of God.
Revelation 5:6 (MSG)
I looked, and there, surrounded by Throne, [Cherubim], and Elders, was a Lamb,
slaughtered but standing tall. Seven horns he had, and seven eyes, the Seven
Spirits of God sent into all the earth.
a minute, what happened to the lion? In the center of the whole scene is a
lamb. Sheep aren’t noted for their
ferocity. The sheep need protection, they are never the protector. Worse still
this lamb looks as if it has had its throat slit like the lambs offered in
sacrifice during Passover. The lamb is covered in its own blood. How is a
slaughtered lamb still standing, still alive? This is a strange-looking lamb, with
seven horns, and seven eyes, what’s that all about? When you dig into the original language the
word translated for us as lamb is arnion.
An arnion is a little lambkin. It’s not even a full-grown
sheep, it’s a baby. What happened to the lion?
arnion is an incredible representation of Jesus. Jeremiah puts these words in the mouth of the
Messiah “I was like a gentle lamb that is lead to the slaughter (Jeremiah
11:19). In the gospel John the Baptist proclaims that Jesus is the lamb of God
who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29). Peter writes of the precious blood of Christ,
a lamb without blemish or spot (1 Peter 1:19). Here is the powerful message, by
being the lamb, Jesus wins the lion’s share of the victory. It is by being the
lamb that the victory is won. “The Lamb’s very defenselessness is his lion-like
strength; his suffering death is his victory; His method of operation always is
that of the Lamb, but the consequences, the results, always are the victory
that belongs to the character of the Lion” ( Vernard Eller, The Most Revealing
Book of the Bible, p.80).
know that the lamb is victorious because it has 7 horns. 7 is the number of completeness. Throughout the bible horns represent power
and authority, victory and triumph, abundance and prosperity, holiness and
righteousness. The horns represent the Lamb’s irresistible might (Mounce, p
146). The 7 eyes reveal to us that the Lamb sees it all. He knows what is in
the heart. He sees what people have done,
what His servants are enduring. The lamb’s oneness with the Holy Spirit is
evident (John 14:8). In Zechariah's
vision, the eyes of the Lord are identified as 7 lampstands that see throughout
the whole earth (Zechariah 4:10).
Nothing is hidden, nothing is unknown. The Lamb is victorious for even
though it was slaughtered, it, He, is alive and well.
Golgatha, the Lord was crucified. Paul
wrote “Christ our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed” (1 Corinthians 5:7). In chapter 1 of the Revelation we read that
“Jesus freed us from our sins by his blood” (Revelation 1:5). Peter wrote “By
his wounds you have been healed” (1 Peter 2:24). Here in the throne room of God Jesus’
sacrifice is clearly displayed for the whole universe to see. The slain Lamb is
very much alive. On the third day, he rose and ascended into heaven proclaims
the Apostles Creed. The ascension is not the final act.
9:29 So Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear
a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting
Revelation 5:7-14 (MSG)
came to the One Seated on the Throne and took the scroll from his right hand.
The moment he took the scroll, the Four [Cherubim] and Twenty-four Elders fell
down and worshiped the Lamb. Each had a harp and each had a bowl, a gold bowl
filled with incense, the prayers of God's holy people.
they sang a new song:
Worthy! Take the scroll, open its seals. Slain! Paying in blood, you bought men and women, Bought them back from all over the earth, Bought them back for God.
you made them a Kingdom, Priests for our God, Priest-kings to rule over the
11 I looked again. I heard a company of Angels around the Throne, the [Cherubim], and the Elders—ten thousand times ten thousand their number, thousand after thousand after thousand in full song:
The slain Lamb is worthy! Take the power, the wealth, the wisdom, the strength! Take the honor, the glory, the blessing!
I heard every creature in Heaven and earth, in underworld and sea, join in, all
voices in all places, singing:
To the One on the Throne! To the Lamb! The blessing, the honor, the glory, the strength, For age after age after age.
Four [Cherubim] called out, "Oh, Yes!" The Elders fell to their knees
roar of acclimation rises into a universal acknowledgment of praise and worship
for what Jesus had done at the command of the Father in the power of the Holy
of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or
anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those
long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call
out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the
everything that has breath praise the Lord.”
What is revealed here is the universal Lordship of Christ. With it, there are truths that we can apply to
our lives today.
it is love that wins in the end. When in doubt as to what to do in the face of
oppression, choose to love. It is the
Lamb that wins the Lion's share of the victory even if you as the lamb get
slaughtered in the process.
Jesus’ sacrifice is for you, suffering and slaughtered so that an atonement
could be made to bring you to God. He laid it all on the line to set you free
from sin and death. The only righteous
response is to bend the knee in fidelity to Him.
are not your own; you were bought at a price” (1 Cor 6:19-20 (NIV). Live the life Jesus died to give you. Don’t waste your redemption.
Jesus makes every believer a king and a priest.
That means those loyal to Christ are enabled to live victorious lives
overcoming the challenges and enduring the rough times ahead. It is your new birthright. Exercise this power and live righteously.
are not what they seem to be. A world in
chaos. Time in a never-ending circle.
History repeats itself on the backs of human folly. There is one seated
upon a throne in splendor and majesty, in charge of everything even amid your
tribulations. He is with you, the Holy
Spirit resides within you even as he is before the throne, guiding you,
empowering you, and interceding for you. There is One who has laid the
foundation for bringing God’s plan to fruition.
And Jesus has taken the scroll of destiny. Friends, everything is going to be alright.