The Slain Lamb

The Death and Exaltation of Jesus are inextricably linked in the Book of Revelation. The Book’s visions unveil the plan to redeem humanity. His sacrificial death, resurrection, and enthronement put it into action. However, he is no tyrant. He does not subjugate his enemies through force or violence. Instead, he “shepherds the nations” and purchases men from every “tribe and people and tongue” through his shed blood.

He is the “Faithful Witness, the Firstborn of the Dead, and the Ruler of the Kings of the Earth.” The term “Faithful Witness” points to his death. The “Firstborn of the Dead” refers to his resurrection. Consequently, he became the “Ruler of the Kings of the Earth.”

Half Dome sunrise - Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash
[Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash]

John saw Jesus as the glorious “
Son of Man.” This term alludes to the incident when Daniel saw “one like a son of man” receiving the “kingdom and dominion” from the “Ancient of Days.” Jesus described himself as the “Living One, and I became dead and, behold, living am I unto the ages of ages,” references to his Death, Resurrection, and Exaltation - (Daniel 7:13-14, Revelation 1:12-20).

Because he is the one who died and rose from the dead, he has the authority to unveil to the Seven Assemblies of Asia “what things must come to pass soon.” He is the priestly figure who walks among the “Seven Golden Lampstands” in the Sanctuary of God as he oversees and leads his churches.

He encourages, corrects, and chastises his assemblies. He assures saints who “overcome” of their everlasting rewards. His saints participate in his reign - “Just as I also overcame and took my seat with my Father in his Throne” - And he “overcame” by enduring the Cross. Likewise, his disciples overcome Satan by “the blood of the Lamb, the word of their testimony, and because they love not their lives even unto death” - (Revelation 3:20-21, 12:11).

The theme of his “overcoming” through death is central to the vision of the “Sealed Scroll.”  God’s redemptive plan could not commence until the Scroll was unsealed. The only one who was “worthy” to open the Scroll was the slain “Lamb.” He is the “Lion of Judah” who fulfills that role as the sacrificial “Lamb” - (Revelation 5:6-10).

Lamb” is the dominant title applied to Jesus by Revelation - Twenty-eight times (4 x 7). In contrast, he is called “Christ” seven times, “Jesus” fourteen times (2 x 7), and “Lion of Judah” only once. “Lamb” stresses his victory through self-sacrificial death.

The slain “Lamb” took the “Sealed Scroll” from the “right hand” of the “One Sitting” on it, and the heavenly choir declared him “Worthy to take the Scroll and to open its sealsBECAUSEyou were slain and thereby redeemed unto God by your blood men from every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation” - (Revelation 5:9-10).

The “Lamb” acts in concert with the “One on the Throne.” Together, they reign over the Cosmos, judge the impenitent, subdue their enemies, inaugurate the New Creation, and grant rewards and everlasting life to the righteous.

In Chapter 7, John saw the Innumerable Multitude of redeemed men standing before the Throne and the “Lamb.” They proclaimed, “Salvation to our God who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb!” These men came out of “Great Tribulation, having washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Redemption and victory are achieved through the “Lamb who was slain” - (Revelation 7:9-17).

John saw the “Dragon” poised to destroy a male figure about to be born from the “Woman clothed with the Sun.” Identified as the Messianic “son,” he was destined “to shepherd the nations with a scepter of iron.” Before the “Dragon” could destroy him, the child was “caught away to God and to his Throne” - (Psalm 2:7-10, Revelation 12:1-11).

The “Dragon” represented Satan. He was banished to Earth and lost his prosecutorial power. A loud voice proclaims, “Now has come salvation and power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ… And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb!”  The “brethren” were declared victorious because of the sacrificial death of the “Lamb” – (Revelation 12:9-11).

FINAL VICTORY


In Chapter 14, John saw 144,000 males standing victorious on “Mount Zion.” Each had the name of the “Lambwritten upon his forehead.” Together, they “sang a New Song” that no one else could learn. Only those who belonged to the “Lamb” could sing the song of redemption - (Revelation 14:1-5).

The 144,000 “males” were identified as those “who have been redeemed from the Earth” and “follow the Lamb wherever he goes.” This was the same group seen previously in the vision of the Throne. Note the parallels:

  • They sing a NEW SONG, saying, ‘Worthy are you to take the Scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain and by your blood REDEEMED unto God men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation” – (Revelation 5:9-12).

The Book culminates in the vision of the city of “New Jerusalem.” All God’s enemies were defeated. Sin and death were no more, and overcoming saints inherited everlasting life. The victory was total. Nevertheless, Jesus was still identified as the sacrificial “Lamb.”

New Jerusalem” was the “wife of the LAMB.” The Apostles were the “Twelve Apostles of the LAMB.” In the city, the “Lord God, the Almighty, is its temple, and the LAMB.” The City was illuminated by “the glory of God, and the lamp thereof was the LAMB.”

Only those whose names “are written in the LAMB’s Book of Life” gained access to the city. The “river of water of life” flowed from the “Throne of God and the LAMB.” At the center of the Universe was the “Throne of God and the LAMB” - (Revelation 21:9-22:5).

Through his sacrifice, the “Lamb” fulfills the role of the Davidic Messiah and reigns as Sovereign over the Cosmos. His exaltation and the redemption of humanity are based on the past death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. Therefore, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain!



RELATED POSTS:
  • Worthy is the Lamb - (The central figure in Revelation is the Lamb who is worthy to open the Sealed Scroll and receive sovereignty over the entire Creation– Revelation 5:5-14)
  • The Royal Shepherd - (The Lamb’s reign commenced with his death and resurrection, and since then, he has been shepherding the nations toward New Jerusalem)
  • The Son of Man - (The one like a Son of Man in Daniel’s vision is the source of Christ’s self-designation as the Son of Man authorized to rule the Kingdom)

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