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.”
When I think of Jesus as God’s Lamb, I hear Him saying: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matt. 11:28-29).
We can also think of Charles Wesley’s hymn: “Gentle Jesus, meek and mild, look upon a little child; pity my simplicity, suffer me to come to Thee. Lamb of God, I look to Thee; Thou shalt my example be: Thou art gentle, meek and mild; Thou wast once a little child” (from Gentle Jesus, meek and mild, look upon a little child).
Not only is Jesus depicted as God’s Lamb, who didn’t open His mouth as He submissively was led to the slaughter (see Isa. 53:7), He’s also portrayed as “the Lion of the tribe of Judah”—as the King who rules and reigns over (the end of) history.
The book of Revelation describes the wrap up of history as we know it—the final battle between God and Satan—good and evil. In today’s passage, John wept because “no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it” (v. 4). No one seemed worthy to take charge of this final chapter.
In his bewilderment, John is comforted. Jesus is worthy to open the scroll and sanction judgment on God’s enemies. He’s worthy to state what must come to pass and command His troops accordingly. The conclusive victory that He won as God’s Lamb will be finalized as God’s Lion.
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