And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. (Revelation 5:5-7)
The apostle of the Lord Jesus, John, wept in heaven when he was made to see that the plan of God to undo the curse of sin and death, and to bring in a new creation, could only be inaugurated by a man. By man came death, and by man must come resurrection. But there wasn’t found a man worthy to carry out God’s plan!
But at this point in the vision of the throne room of God, John is told not to weep anymore, for a man has been found, worthy to open the seals and the book! That man is the one of whom Jacob prophesied, who would be as a lion from Judah’s tribe! A descendant and the root of King David.
He turned to see this “Lion”, standing in the center of the congregation of awesome Cherubim, Angels, and redeemed Elders, and instead he saw a Lamb, bearing in his body the marks of slaughter. This Lamb had wounds, blood, and the marks of death, but was very much alive, standing in the midst of the throne.
The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, in other words He stood there with all Power, and all Wisdom. This Lamb is a Lion!
The Lion is a Lamb. A Paschal lamb, wounded, slain, and bloody, yet alive, powerful and all-knowing. This is the center of reality, all that is real, true and good flow out of the throne room of God, and at its very center, is sacrificial love, humble sacrifice for sins, victorious love.
Real power is revealed not as bared fangs and tensed sinews, a terrifying roar, and ripping, grinding teeth. Real power is in the One who gave himself for us, who laid down His life as an offering for sin and for sinners, loving us by taking our place in judgment. “He was numbered with the transgressors…”
This Lamb conquered as a lion, but not by shedding anyone else’s blood, but by the offering of His own sinless blood for us . He Gave His life, what more could he give? Oh how He loves you and me…
The Lamb in the midst of the congregation, in the very throne room of God, is the offering God made unto himself. Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world! This Lamb bearing the marks of death on his own body is the satisfaction of God’s own Holy wrath against all that is sinful, rebellious, evil, false.
In Him, Love wins! Love is powerful, more powerful than sin and death! But we speak not of humanistic love, certainly not “unconditional love”, The Lamb bearing the marks of slaughter, standing in heaven, witnesses to Holy Love. The soul that sins shall die, but He died in our place. Why did the Lamb have to die?
A Holy God had to find a Holy way to forgive and to save we who were so fallen, so sinful, faithless, false, and yes , evil. The cross is what it took to redeem us from our sinful state!
How can a Holy God remain Holy and yet forgive sinners? In the center of heaven, in the vision of the throne room, stands the answer, A Lamb bearing the marks of slaughter.
The Lamb slain for sinners on the Altar of God! Slain from the foundation of the world.
How fitting that through apparent weakness and frailty God would show the greatest of power. The Lamb is the “weakness of God”, the very power of Divine restraint, for at anytime, he could have called ten thousand Angels to slay his enemies in an instant. But this all-powerful and all-wise Lamb, slew no one, and took nothing for himself.
Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.(Isaiah 53;4-5)
This is the man who steps forward to receive the book out of the hand of the glorious One on the throne.Daniel saw the same vision centuries earlier,
I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened…(Daniel 7:9-10)
I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.(Daniel 7:13-14)
Hallelujah, The Lamb reigns! He has prevailed to bring us to God and to open the book, and to commence the judgment! He has the scars in his body, He is the Lamb of God that took away the sins of the world! Jesus is Lord!