(19.) On Christ as The Lamb

(19.) On Christ as The Lamb

(19.) On Christ as The Lamb.

“Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).

If there is one dominant title given to Christ in Revelation, it is that of Lamb. John uses it 29 times in his vision of the Apocalypse. We are privileged to see much of the Lamb in John’s vision of heaven:

  1. In the middle of the heavenly throne, looking as though it had been slain (5:6);
  2. With seven horns and seven eyes. Horns are a symbol of power and authority, and the seven number symbolizes perfection. Eyes signify watchfulness and comprehenesion. The Lamb that was slain has perfect authority, and is constantly watchful and full of understanding (5:6);
  3. As the only One in the universe who is worthy to open God’s holy scroll (5:8-10);
  4. The object of high praise and worship by “every creature in heaven and on earth” as well as myriads of angels (5:11-13);
  5. The object of great fear on the part of the rulers and great ones in hiding, fearing the fiery passion of the Lamb (6:16-17);
  6. The One who was worshiped by great multitudes from all the nations (7:9);
  7. The One who will lead the people, shepherding them to living fountains of waters (7:17);
  8. The Author of the Lamb’s Book of Life (13:8);
  9. The One standing on Mount Zion, listening to the New Song sung by those “who follow the Lamb wherever He goes” (14:1-4);
  10. The recipient of a song sung by the triumphant believers, singing “the Song of Moses and the Song of the Lamb” (15:3-4);
  11. The victor in a war with the Beast, proving that the Lamb is “Lord of lords and King of kings” (17:14);
  12. The One held in honor at the “marriage supper of the Lamb” (19:9);
  13. As the One who was the true Temple in the New Jerusalem (21:22);
  14. As the One providing the sole source of light in the New Jerusalem (21:23);
  15. On the throne in the new Garden of Eden, providing “a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal” (22:1).

When John the Baptist shouted out that Jesus was the Lamb of God, he was referring to the Passover lamb, the defining moment in Jewish history (Exodus 12). Inspired by the Holy Spirit, John is saying that, just as the blood of the perfect, unblemished male lamb provided a way to escape judgment and experience redemption from slavery in Egypt, Jesus will soon provide for redemption through His very own sacrificial blood. The lamb became the primary sacrificial animal in Mosiac Law, a lamb sacrificed in the Temple every morning and evening for the sins of the people (Ex. 29). For centuries, a lamb’s life had to be sacrificed for the penalty of sin. And now the Messiah, Jesus Christ, offering His pure blood as sacrifice to atone for the sins of the world. “You were not redeemed with corruptible things, but with the precious blood of Christ as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world” (1 Peter 1:18-19). “Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us, therefore let us keep the feast.” (1 Corinthians 5:7).

Sheridan Larson has composed an imaginative retelling of Revelation 12, with a lamb playing a central part in the story. Enjoy.

In the dark year, the year before the Light came, there rose up the Old Dragon out of the shadows that covered the earth at that time. And men trembled, for he was hideous to look upon and powerful to stand against – “a great red dragon heaving seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns upon his heads.” And fear came upon men at the sight of him. 

The people cried for a deliverer, but the heavens were dark – to their eyes – and the land lay cold and silent around them. And every day the dragon slithered on the earth and beat the air and claimed men for his dark purposes. 

It was at this time on a hill one night that a lamb was born and the eyes of this world knew it not. But the heavens opened and the praises of that world entered ours for a time. And angels, who never cease to sing around the throne, sang on a hill in the dark world for the birth of a lamb who was marked to die. For the lamb was the first-born of the Father and the first-born of the Kingdom. And the Law of the First-born is that it is set apart for sacrifice. 

The dragon knew that the lamb was born, and he laughed – a great, hideous, fiery laugh that made the people tremble in their thin houses and run in their wide streets. 

“A lamb!” laughed the dragon, “and with only one head and no horns and no crowns. What can a lamb do against the great red dragon of seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns?” And he plotted to kill the lamb and pour its blood down the wide streets of the world. 

But the lamb lived without fear and brought joy and health to all those who came to him. And it was Light in the dark world while he walked among them. And though it appeared foolish to follow a lamb, many listened to his words of a Kingdom of Righteousness, and longed for it, and many came for healing and some came for new life. 

But the day of the dragon came and none stood in his way. The heavens appeared shut; the angels, silent. The dragon swooped; the lamb only waited. The blood ran down the wide streets of the world. The darkness once again descended upon the land. The dragon laughed. But even as he laughed, his great, glorious dragon mail was rent in two and the seven crowns trembled on his seven heads and his ten horns were crumpled. He wailed. His armor fell from him and seen without his glory, he was a serpent. Before him stood the Lamb, whole and white. and the  Light shone. And the dragon understood not the mystery. But only knew he had no more power over the Lamb. So he fled down the blood-bathed streets of the world, speaking death in the ears of all who would listen. But of those who have been touched by the blood of the Lamb, he had no part. For they loved not their lives even unto death.

The battle raged fierce, for the Lamb who had died was alive and the Spirit of the Lamb had been given. And yet to follow the Lamb was considered foolish, and to follow the serpent, wise. And seldom were men willing to die that they might live. 

Down to the present, the company of the Lamb continues, and the Day of the Lord approaches when we shall hear the voice of many angels round about the throne, and the living creatures and the elders, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing!”  Amen. 

Gospel Song – Now Behold the Lamb – Christian Refuge

Handel: ‘Worthy Is The Lamb That Was Slain’ from Messiah | AAM, VOCES8, Apollo5, Barnaby Smith – YouTube