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It's All About the Lamb

4Then I began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the book or to look into it; 5and one of the elders said to me, “Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.” 6And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth. 7And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. (Revelation 5:4–7)

In our haste to get to the “important” stuff in Revelation, especially to draw an End Times chart most often beginning with the Seals, we are apt to rush past the significance of what is taking place in this prelude to what Jesus and the New Testament authors most often refer to as “the end of the age”. While John’s attention is focused elsewhere, he hears the announcement introducing a new figure entering the presence of God’s throne by the qualifier, “behold” in a major declaration of something extremely important and auspicious. It is further qualified by an introductory declaration using two of the most important references to the Messiah, “the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah” and “the Root of David”. Turning to fix his gaze upon what he expects to see, probably something resembling a Lion, what the Apostle John instead beholds is “a Lamb standing, as if slain”. This is not what one might expect, based on the announcement. Apparently the image, title and role of Christ which best represents Him, and in which all others are together fulfilled in, is Christ the Lamb of God. Going forward this is the description which is repeatedly used of Christ throughout the whole of Revelation more than any other. Then why is it that when it comes to Revelation, the primary picture of Christ most often selected is that of the Conqueror on His white horse returning with His armies at the final battle at the end of the age? Why do charts, articles and books centered on Revelation so often overlook the repeated usage of “the Lamb”?

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