Uniform Adult Sunday School Lesson for April 29, 2018
To appreciate the symbolism and significance of Christ as the Lamb that was slain
Revelation 5:6-14 (CEB)
6 Then, in between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders, I saw a Lamb, standing as if it had been slain. It had seven horns and seven eyes, which are God’s seven spirits, sent out into the whole earth. 7 He came forward and took the scroll from the right hand of the one seated on the throne. 8 When he took the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each held a harp and gold bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 They took up a new song, saying,
“You are worthy to take the scroll and open its seals, because you were slain, and by your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe, language, people, and nation.
10 You made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they will rule on earth.”
11 Then I looked, and I heard the sound of many angels surrounding the throne, the living creatures, and the elders. They numbered in the millions—thousands upon thousands. 12 They said in a loud voice,
“Worthy is the slaughtered Lamb to receive power, wealth, wisdom, and might, and honor, glory, and blessing.”
13 And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea—I heard everything everywhere say,
“Blessing, honor, glory, and power belong to the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb forever and always.”
14 Then the four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshipped.
Worthy is the slaughtered Lamb to receive As John continued watching, he saw “in between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders, . . . a Lamb.” The Lamb represents Jesus Christ and was “standing as if it had been slain.” The proximity of the Lamb to God’s throne symbolizes the close relationship between God and Christ. The Lamb power, wealth, wisdom, and might, and honor, glory, and blessing! (Revelation 5:12)
Last week John, witnessed an amazing scene of worship. He reported seeing God on a throne in heaven. The throne was surrounded by 24 elders and encircled by four living creatures, while “the seven spirits of God” were in front (Revelation 4:2, 4-6).
This week As John continued watching, he saw “in between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders, . . . a Lamb.” The Lamb represents Jesus Christ and was “standing as if it had been slain.” The proximity of the Lamb to God’s throne symbolizes the close relationship between God and Christ.
The Lamb that was slain emerged victorious over death. Theologians compare John’s imagery here with the Passover lamb. In the story of Israel’s escape from bondage in Egypt in Exodus, God said, “Your lamb should be a flawless year-old male.” (Exodus 12:5, 12-13)
The apostle Peter used language reminiscent of the Passover when he wrote, “You were liberated by the precious blood of Christ, like that of a flawless, spotless lamb” (1 Peter 1:19). Likewise, the apostle Paul made this connection: “Christ our Passover lamb has been sacrificed” (1 Corinthians 5:7).
The Old Testament prophet Daniel noted the power of the beasts with horns that he saw in his apocalyptic vision: “I saw a fourth beast . . . with extraordinary power . . . it had ten horns” (Daniel 7:7). “I suddenly saw a ram with two horns. . . . No animal could resist the ram, . . . It became powerful” (Daniel 8:3-4).
The response of the four living creatures and the 24 elders was worship. The “elders fell down before the Lamb” just as they fell down before God in worship in Revelation 4:10.
The living creatures and the elders offered a new song in recognition of the new day that had come. The words of praise and worship, “You are worthy,” that were proclaimed to God the Creator in Revelation 4:11 are now proclaimed to Christ the Lamb. Only Christ, God’s perfect Son, was worthy to purchase or redeem all humankind for God by the sacrifice of his blood. This continues the theme of understanding Christ as the flawless Passover lamb.
John reported seeing angels too numerous to count come to this place of worship. They surrounded the throne and everyone within the worship space and offered their own refrain of praise.
Following the angels’ song, John “heard every creature” in the universe proclaim words of adoration and praise to God seated on the throne and to Christ the Lamb. Their words of praise affirmed that “blessing, honor, glory, and power” belong to God and Christ “forever and always.”
This dramatic experience of worship ended with the four living creatures saying amen and the elders falling down once again before God and Christ in worship.
My hymn for this week is “Blessing and Honor.”