The lamb wins

Revelation 11:15-19
Revelation is a book of worship. I know that sounds far-fetched because of the wild and scary imagery. But there are too many visions of worship in the text to think otherwise.

In that light, John’s vision isn’t to outline future events. This is no crystal ball. Instead, John wants the church to know there will be persecution. The faithful will face danger and death. That reality, though, doesn’t take away from the ultimate reality that Christ is Lord of all.

One of my favorite songs finds its theme in Revelation. It’s actually a part of an entire project based on the book. It’s called “The Lamb Wins.” Here’s the opening verse:

Children, do not fear
All the kings and beasts of history
Prideful, strong and cruel
Climbing toward the great I AM
Ultimately fail
And the power of love, the mystery
Wins the war at last
Through the weakness of the Lamb


Amen!

Because Revelation seems daunting and mysterious, many of us avoid it. There is, of course, another unfortunate view of Revelation. Whereas many of us avoid the book, others of us read it impressed with our assumptions. Since we know it’s about some cosmic battle, we bring our ideas of violence and victory to what John portrays. You can bring all that to the reading, but you can’t leave with it.

That is, John challenges our notions by presenting the Lamb of God. That’s the whole revelation: Jesus. The Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. Yes, there is a victory. It is his. To be sure, he didn’t use your weapons, your battle strategies to achieve his victory. He wasn’t trying to impress us. He was saving us.

Verse two of our song says:
In the midst of beasts
See the harmless One come softly
Meek and lowly King With a crown of sacrifice
See humility overcome the proud and lofty
See Him conquer death
Through the giving up of life

Since Jesus lived and won as the lamb, “the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign forever and ever.” Christ received what was his because he lived in obedience to God. He rejected Satan’s offer of the world and stayed about his Father’s business.

Now, what does all that mean to us?

First and foremost, it recenters our lives on Jesus. He is worthy of all our praise. It also gives a chance to reflect on our worship, since we know so much of Revelation is worship. What are we doing in worship? What is God doing? How does our worship impact who we are as God’s people? 

Proper worship is more than what happens on Sunday mornings. I guarantee you this, worship without obedience always becomes stale and bare. If Jesus won with obedience, you and I can live by it, too. As we worship and obey, the way of the Lamb becomes our way.

Stay blessed…john

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