[Dec 31]—Meeting the Real Jesus: Worthy

            I've maintained this for several years: If the only reason—or even the main reason—why you’re reading the book of Revelation is to understand more about the End Times, then you’re missing out considerably. There's so much to gain from it which has nothing to do with whether you’re Pre-Trib or Post-Trib or Pre-Mill or A-Mill. As we finish this study on the nature and work of Christ, I wanted to take a look at today’s passage.
            The scene is Heaven. The previous chapter focused on God the Father as the Ruler of the universe, sitting on his throne and receiving worship from the redeemed and from angels and the rest of creation. Then a scroll is introduced.
            What does the scroll represent? Scrolls with writing on both sides were commonly used as legal documents, such as deeds and marriage contracts. For this reason, some have said that this is the title deed to all creation. Some others see this as representing the consummation of  God’s plan to end human history (as we know it) and the great war between him and the Adversary.  Seven is the number for completion, so with seven seals, this is locked up tight. No one in all creation is worthy to take the scroll and open it, thus bringing to pass God’s ultimate plan. However we interpret it doesn’t affect the point I’m trying to make about it, however.
            John was weeping because no one was worthy to take and open the scroll. But then a “mighty angel” consoles him and tells him that Someone can. What the angel calls Jesus is a great study in tension concerning the nature of Christ. He’s called the “Lion of Judah,” talking about his human heritage—he literally was of the tribe of Judah. But he’s also the “Root of David,” saying that he’s the One who produced David, referring to his divine nature.
            And John turns to see this "Lion," and. . . surprise!!! It’s a lamb! This Lamb had been slain, and he still carries the scars. But this is no ordinary lamb, all meek and powerless. No, it’s the opposite. Horns were symbolic of power, so since he has seven horns, that means he’s all powerful. He has seven eyes, which symbolize his omniscience. By the way, a much better translation of “seven Spirits” would be “sevenfold Spirit,” probably referring to the seven names of the Spirit in Isaiah 11.
He takes the scroll from the Father, and all Heaven bursts loose with song. They sing praises to the Lamb, a new song. According to the NIV Study Bible, in the Old Testament a “new song” was “new act of divine deliverance or blessing.” God is initiating a new age when his Son will reign openly and bring the War to a close.
             And what do they sing? What’s the focus? The Lamb is worthy to take the scroll because he died and purchased men and women for God with his own dear blood. If you’re redeemed, that’s what you were redeemed (bought back) with. And the angels join the chorus. They haven’t experienced salvation personally, but they know what it cost their Lord. And they sing that the Lamb is worthy to receive all “power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”
            You see my friend, the focus of Heaven, the center of attention is the Father and the Son. We’ll receive praise and honor and reward for our service to him, but we’re not the center of attention.
            That’s the first purpose of Heaven—worship. Not to reunite you with your loved ones. Not so you can ask Jonah whether it was a whale or a great fish. It’s to worship the One who deserves it. We won’t want to do anything else.
            But how does this affect us here and now? As we end this year and stand on the brink of another one, there are a lot of fears to face. As I write this, there are a lot of people afraid of a rogue nation getting nukes, and others are really concerned about the next Presidential election.
Don’t be afraid. The Lamb who's all-powerful and all-knowing is in charge. No one else is in charge—not presidents or dictators or even Satan himself. All of them, whether they know it or not, are acting according to his ultimate purposes. And in the end, once we get to the other side of this, the result will be worship. Our part now is to trust and obey. May God richly bless you this coming year. The best is yet to come.

And to bring us all into a perfect attitude of worship, here's "Revelation Song" by Kari Jobe:

Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise! May my life be part of that inheritance given to you, Lord Jesus. Father God, I want to bring more honor, more glory, more praise to the name of your Son. Holy Spirit please lead me and guide me close and closer to my Savior. By your grace.

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