Revelation scares most folk. It used to scare me. Long time readers will know this is a fear that was conquered in the past and instead turned into a love. Over the last few days I have been reading, reflecting and praying through John’s vision in Revelation chapters 4 and 5.
One of the beautiful things about a life with scripture is how new insights come and new truth is spoken into our life. I want to share with you a few brief thoughts about Revelation chapter 5.
The focus of chapter 5 is a scroll residing in the right hand of God. The issue surrounding this scroll is that no one is able to open it. But in the midst of John’s tears over the issue he is told of one who is able. The lion of the tribe of Judah can open it. John is pointed to a lamb standing as though it had been sacrificed. It bore the marks of its death, but is clearly living and power is found because of its previous dead state. Christ is both the lion and the lamb. Augustine has some great words about this paradox, you can read them in a previous post here.
The worship of heaven declares the lamb as “worthy” and in many different regards. What struck me over the last few days is the fact only one deliberate action directed towards others is given. We can find it in 5:10..”and you have caused them to be a kingdom of priests for our God. And they will reign on the earth.”
Here are a couple lessons I this teaches us.
The comforting words we find in Revelation 5 give us encouragement in the midst of mild to severe need. Our story of “i CAN’T do this” is changed to “I can’t do this”. We find relief in the fact Jesus holds time in his hand. If this sounds familiar, you probably are thinking of the line from Chris Tomlin’s “How Great is Our God”. The scroll Christ was able to open symbolizes the world and it’s history. Jesus holds all this together and because of this we can relax. We can admit we can’t do some things. But we trust. This is a trust that takes surrender. We can say it all we want...but we won’t find the comfort until we truly live in it. The journey is us learning to change our phrase.
I can’t do this....but Jesus certainly can.
In action, Christ calls us to be a kingdom of priests. This chapter talks alot about Jewish worship practices. Instead of a select few being responsible for the praise and intimate life that worship leadership gives us with God, through the death of Christ we all of this life available. The vocation of praise belongs to all Christians. This is directly tied to how we live on this earth, in our present and also in the future.
We need to let Jesus do his job. Then he allowes us to participate in a job much bigger than us.
I hope you enjoyed this Saturday in Scripture. How do you need to let Christ take care of things in your life?