Sunday, December 10, 2006

The lion king

Revelation 4 and 5 must be two of my favourite chapters of the Bible. I love the images of worship at the throne, of Jesus receiving the glory due His name, of the thought that one day i'll be part of that great multitude enjoying and worshipping Jesus forever.

The scene opens with John seeing a scroll in the hand of the One seated on the throne. This scroll obviously contains something of great importance, whether its details of God's great historical redemption plan, or the names of those who are saved, there is obviously some pretty sensitive information in it. And who is worthy to open it and look inside? Who is worthy to complete God's great plan? Who is worthy to look inside the scrolls and judge humanity? Who, cries the angel...

There is no one. No one on heaven and earth who is worthy to open the scrolls. And John begins to weep. What an idictment of people that no one, ever, it seems across the ages has been able to live a life pleasing to God. No one can stand before God's throne. No one. And John begins to weep. God's plans seem thwarted. It seems there will be no protection for the church, no end to the suffering of God's people, no final justice in the world. The scroll can not be opened. And to John this must seem a whole lot worse. Where is Jesus he must be wondering...where is the Savior to come and save the day? Where is my Lord in all of this.

And then the angel says to him, 'weep no more, behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah...has conquered, so that He can open the scrolls'. John looks to His savior, the Lion of Judah, the Root of David, God made flesh, the Son of the Living God, the risen Christ. And what does He see? 'A lamb standing as if it had been slain.' And He took the scroll and He was worshiped. The Kingdom of God is an upside down kingdom, where the centrepiece, the Lord, the Judge is a lamb who was slain. The lion and the lamb. And why is this? Because Jesus is the ultimate passover lamb. Both priest and sacrifice, both condemner and condemned. Jesus can judge because He was slain, because He died under the weight of my sin, because on Him God poured out all the wrath and indignation that our sin deserves. And Jesus hung there until He died. God demands blood for our sins. He demands justice. And lambs couldn't Jesus, the only perfect man, fully God and fully man did, that we may join with the Elders in Revelation 5 and cry:
'worthy are you to take the scrolls and open the seals,
for you were slain and by your blood you ransomed people for God'


Daniel said...

I love those chapters too. Have you heard Carson on them?

Brilliant. He calls it "a vision of a Transcendent God".

FloydTheBarber said...

i haven't...i'll have to go looking for them!