God presents his solution to the problem set out in Revelation 5:1-4. We see a startling appearance—the Lion who is the Lamb. Can you capture the drama of the moment? One of the elders tells John not to weep because the Lion of the tribe of Judah has triumphed. John thinks about the elder’s words. “Yes, a Lion! A noble, courageous, conquering champion! Surely he is able!” But when he looks at the throne, he does not see a Lion but a Lamb—hardly a picture of a champion!
It is exactly at this point that God breaks the back of human wisdom. People think that a grand display of power is the way to handle what is wrong in the world. “Drop the bombs! Send in the army! Conquer and evil will be gone!” But evil remains as destructive as ever. We fail to listen to God’s word, and therefore we don’t understand the necessity of the cross (1 Corinthians 1:18-25). The only hope for your life is the gospel. The only hope for the church is the gospel. The only hope for our people and the world is the gospel.
On the other hand, when you look at the Lamb, you can see that he is very special. The Lamb is slain but alive! Here we see someone with resurrection glory about him. Here is the Son of God with power (Romans 1:4). The Lamb is standing in the center of God’s throne. Who is the King of the universe? He is the one who wore the crown of thorns. The Lamb is the focal point of angels and mankind. They encircle him, looking to him for meaning, joy and life itself. The Lamb has power and wisdom (symbolized by horns and eyes). This shows his connection with the Holy Spirit of God. He sends the Spirit, doing mighty works by him and revealing himself by the Spirit.
The Father explains the Lamb’s worthiness. Its basis is his sacrificial work on the cross and what it accomplished (5:8-10). He purchased a people for God out of humanity. This is the basis of evangelism and missions. He made that purchased people a kingdom—a new nation. The Lamb also made them priests; they are able to worship God in his presence. He guaranteed their reign on earth, which will be ultimate victory.
What in the world is God doing? He is creating a new humanity in his Son to share in the glory of God. He did this in the saving work of Christ. Everything in history is the unrolling of that plan. One by one, the Spirit is putting purchased people in that new humanity. The most significant activity that you and I can get involved in is to become Christ’s coworkers in God’s plan. In other words, our mission is to make fully committed followers of Jesus Christ. Pray for the Sovereign Lord to lead you to people that you can bring to the Lord Jesus for salvation.
Grace and peace, David