Monday, December 22, 2014

Solus Christus: The Lion and the Lamb

We’re approaching the end of the Advent season, which means that soon we’ll celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Christmas day. In the last few Advent meditations, we’re going to look at Christ’s second advent, i.e. His second coming which could happen at any time. To that end, we’re going to look at a few passages from Revelation for our final devotions. Today’s comes from Re. 5, which shows us the unapproachable glory and worthiness of Christ and the praise that He deserves:
1 Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” 3 And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, 4 and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. 5 And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”
6 And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7 And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. 8 And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new song, saying,
“Worthy are you to take the scroll
    and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
    from every tribe and language and people and nation,
10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
    and they shall reign on the earth.”
11 Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice,
    “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
    to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
    and honor and glory and blessing!”
13 And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying,
    “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
    be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”
14 And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped. (Re. 5:1-14)
Worthy is Jesus because He was slain, and by His blood He ransomed God’s people. He is the Lion and the Lamb at the same time. Christmas proclaims the event of Jesus’ birth but we know that He was born so that about thirty years later He might die for His people. We know that He was born to go into battle against sin and death as the Lion and be sacrificed on our behalf as the Lamb. He’s both the great warrior and the great sacrifice, and it was through that very sacrifice (what He was born in His first advent to do) that He won the battle against sin and death for His people. And, it’s in this very death that He showed He is worthy of all praise, glory, and honor—every bit we can muster and much, much more. Unfortunately, since we live in a fallen world, He still doesn’t get the praise He deserves from humanity; even from the Church. But, one day He will return and set things right, and on that day “every knee [shall] bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

On this day of Advent remember that there is another advent coming—Jesus second coming. The world doesn’t look very good right now, I know. We’re constantly bombarded with temptation and tragedy, and sometimes we wonder if it really is going to end. The Church has been waiting two thousand years. Will it end? It will. The Lion has won the war against sin and death because He became our Lamb in His first advent, and though the loser still fights, Jesus will soon return to put an end to this age, to bring His people into the new heavens and new earth where sin and death can’t touch them, and to throw the devil, his demons, and all God’s enemies finally and eternally into the Lake of Fire. Then we’ll stand before the throne of Jesus and with “myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands” and give Him the glory that He’s due. We’ll sing His praises forever and ever. What a glorious day it will be! What a glorious eternity it will be! Remember that His first advent was only the beginning; what we celebrate at Christmas was only the beginning. The best is yet to come. Ask God the Father to send God the Son back soon—to haste the day—so we can begin eternity in the bliss of the new heavens and new earth and give the Lion and the Lamb the praise He truly deserves.

By His Grace,

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