Happy Christmas! Today we celebrate the birth of Jesus – the first paradox of Christianity – the King of Kings born in a humble setting and placed in a manger. The shepherds who came to visit him spent their lives breeding lambs for sacrifice. They come to visit the Lamb of God in possibly the manger they check the purity of sacrificial lambs in!
Now to Revelation 5
Before John’s vision looks at a series of sevens – seven seals, seven trumpets and seven bowls, which depict the end from different viewpoints – we are introduced to the scroll and the lamb. Revelation contains so many allusions to the Old Testament and fulfilment of Old Testament prophecy.
The scroll is paralleled in Daniel 12:4, so it is most likely to be God’s heavenly plan of the destiny of the world. John weeps, v.4, because he longs for God’s purposes to be accomplished (Matthew 6:10 – the Lord’s prayer), but it appears impossible. The elder says ‘weep no more’, for one who is worthy has been found.
There’s a hearing and seeing motif in Revelation. First John hears, then he sees in the Spirit, often with greater clarity in the seeing! He hears that there is a Lion of the tribe of Judah (see Genesis 49:9-10) who is also the root of David (Isaiah 6:13; 11:1). Jesus is descended from the tribe of Judah and David’s line. But He is not a branch, He is the root!
Next John sees that this mighty fierce warrior is actually a lamb; not just a lamb but a lamb that looks like it has been slain. This is the second paradox of Christianity – the triumph and deliverance of God’s people is not through the fireworks of military might but through the weakness and offence of crucifixion.
The lamb stands at the centre, because He is unique and the focal point of God’s plan. He has seven horns and eyes – symbolising perfection, worth and ability. The seven spirits of God is the Holy Spirit in his sevenfold fullness.
I love that our prayers are sweet smelling incense – are you praying? On your own and in prayer teams?
Praise God that Jesus is worthy to open the seal, because He was slain and that He is rescuing a people to make them a kingdom of priests from every tribe and tongue and nation. More Lord!