The Lion Who Is the LambRevelation 5:1-8Theme: Triumph through suffering.This week’s lessons teach us that Christ is the only one who can implement the eternal plan of God in history.
LessonThis Lamb, looking weak, standing as it had been slain, a crucified Messiah, is the omnipotent King of kings and Lord of lords. And moreover, secondly, Jesus is omniscient – all-knowing – because that’s what the eyes refer to. The background here is Zechariah 4:10. It speaks of the seven lamps of the menorah as the eyes of the Lord. Here John identifies the eyes with the seven spirits of God. We came across it earlier in chapter 1 – seven spirits. In Revelation, strictly speaking, John never refers to the Holy Spirit. He refers, rather, to the seven spirits. So the best way of understanding this reference is to think of the multi-faceted or omnipresent nature of the Holy Spirit. That is a bit uncertain, but if that’s what it means, it certainly fits here because it’s a way of saying that Jesus, by his Spirit, is ranging throughout the entire earth and knows all things.
If this is the case, the complete Trinity is represented here. There is God the Father sitting upon the throne; there is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son, standing in the center of the throne; and there is the Holy Spirit of God emanating from both and extending throughout the whole earth. There’s good Trinitarian theology.
So what’s the climax of this vision? Well, it’s this. The Lamb approaches the throne and he takes the scroll from the hand of the Almighty. And we know that this is the climax, because at this point the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders from chapter 4 respond by falling down before the Lamb just as previously they had fallen down before the throne of God the Father, worshiping him, praying, and singing the hymns that are the climax of the chapter.
It’s also a climax of something from the Old Testament. There is only one passage in the entire Old Testament in which a divine personage approaches the throne of God to receive authority, and it is found in Daniel, chapter 7. It reads this way: “…Before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations, and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed” (vv. 13-14). And of course, that was Jesus.
That is what John sees here in Revelation, the last of the sixty-six books of the Bible. Is that the Christ you know? Some people know him as a baby lying in a manger – it’s very sentimental. Many people are focused solely on the Christ of the cross – that is certainly the core of the gospel. Some are thrilled by the Resurrection, and we ought to be. But what we’re given here in this last book of the Bible is a vision of the exalted Christ. The Lamb, standing as he had been slain, who is at the same time, nevertheless, the omnipotent, omniscient Lord of Glory. And that’s the one who is the Lord and Savior of his people. He is the one who is guiding history. He is the one who is opening the scroll that determines all that takes place in the judgment of the wicked, in the honor of God, and the salvation of those who belong to him. You need to belong to him. What’s going to happen in history? I’ll tell you what’s going to happen in history. God and the Lamb are going to be glorified, and you’d be wise to be there and be joining in the praise and worship of the saints.
To what do the seven eyes refer?
What is the climax of this particular vision?
Further StudyRead Daniel 7:9-14. How does this change or affirm your understanding of who Christ is?
PrayerOur Father, we thank you for this passage and for what it has taught us about Christ and his glory, the unfolding of history and your plan, and our need to stand with Christ in faith and in obedience and service. Lord, give us grace to do that. And we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.