The Lion and the Lamb
(5) "And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Ju'da, the Root of Da'vid, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. (6) And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne, and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. (7) And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him that sat upon the throne. (8) And when He had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of saints." Revelation 5:5 - 8.
The first part of this passage writes about the Lion of the tribe of Judah so we should go back to the Old Testament. "Ju'dah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?" Genesis 49:9. There is another verse that says, "AND there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jes'se, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots." Isaiah 11:1. There is yet another verse which writes, "And in that day there shall be a root of Jes'se, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gen - tiles seek: and His rest shall be glorious." Isaiah 11:11. In verse five the apostle John is assured that Jesus Christ is competent and worthy to break the seven seals and open the scroll to release the plagues.
Before I give a discourse on this passage I just want to give you some Bible references to Revelation 5:5 - 8. In verse six there is a reference to ... "Stood a Lamb as it had been slain." And when He had thus spoken, He shewed them His hands and His feet." Luke 24:40. "And when He had so said, He shewed unto them His hands and His side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord." John 20:20. "Then saith He to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold My hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into My side: and be not faithless, but believing." John 20:27.
There is also a phrase in verse six that writes ... "Horns and seven eyes." Horns are a symbol of strength in the Bible. "And Zed - e - ki'ah the son of Chena'a - nah made him horns of iron: and he said, Thus saith the LORD, With these shalt thou push the Syr'i - ans, until thou have consumed them." 1 Kings 22:11. (18) "Then lifted I up mine eyes, and saw, and behold four horns. (19) And I said unto the angel that talked with me, What be these? And he answered me, These are the horns which have scattered Ju'dah, Is'ra - el, and Je - ru'sa - lem." Zechariah 1: 18 - 19.
I desired to quote these references because I do not want you to think that the apostle John was using his imagination when he wrote the book of Revelation. Some of the other phrases in this passage I went over in previous articles. When we see the Old and New Testament verses match what John is writing then this proves the word of God is one hundred percent accurate.
We need to understand the setting in this passage because as John stood weeping one of the elders responded to the apostle, Jesus Christ hath prevailed to open the book and loose the seven seals. In this passage the Son of God is referred to the Lion of the tribe of Judah and the root of David. Jesus Christ is the promised Deliverer of Israel and the Redeemer of mankind. Judah was one of the twelve tribes of Jacob. We need to go back to the Old Testament to comprehend what the apostle John is saying in this passage. "The scepter shall not depart from Ju'dah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shi'loh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be." Genesis 49:10. "And He shall reign over the house of Ja'cob for ever; and of His Kingdom there shall be no end." Luke 1:33. When Genesis 49:10 writes until Shiloh this means the Messiah (Jesus Christ) or comes to whom it belongs. Judah was the tribe from which King David came.
Several prophets wrote in the Old Testament that God promised David a royal Kingdom that would last forever. Jesus Christ is referred to as the Prince of Peace. The true Messiah will reign over an eternal Kingdom of righteousness and justice. (6) "For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder : and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (7) Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of Da'vid, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this." Isaiah 9: 6 - 7. There are so many verses I could quote but then this article would never end and be way to long to fit on a blog.
Jesus Christ is the fulfillment from the tribe of Judah and the family of David. The true Messiah is referred to as a Lion and a Lamb. Jesus Christ had two primary roles. He first came to earth in humility to offer Himself as the Lamb of God to die for the sins of mankind. When He comes back in all His strength it will be as the supremacy of a lion. His first coming was meek but His second coming will be regal power.
The Lamb that John saw was not ordinary because it was a composite of all the attributes of Jesus Christ. It is the Greek word arnios which means a little pet lamb. Before Jesus even started his ministry John the Baptist referred to the Son of God as the Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world. It is obvious that Jesus Christ was destined to take the place of the ceremonial Passover Lamb and that by bearing the sins of mankind the Son of God would reconcile God and people as long as said individual accepts Him into his or her heart for the remission of their transgressions against God.
In the Old Testament for Passover the people could not just slay any lamb but had to choose one from the firstlings of the flock. It was for it's beauty / perfection and was placed in the bosom of the family for four days so the children would love the lamb and considered this innocent creature before God a member of the family. Then the lamb would be seen as a pet and the affection would be very close to their hearts in the household. The arnios ( the little pet lamb) was then loved, cuddled, petted and caressed.
This is the Lamb that the apostle John saw standing next to the throne of God and all the redeemed in heaven had full view of this very touching reality in Paradise. Jesus Christ is the darling of the heart of God the Father and yet the Son of God had to be slain to purchase redemption for all of the creation of God. Notice the Lamb is standing in the heavenly vision because Jesus rose from the dead on the third day defeating sin and death. John understood that the Lamb had been dead so obviously mortal wounds were visible. The Bible says in Zechariah 12:10 that Jesus Christ Himself will show His wounds to those who rejected Him and they will mourn.
Jesus has a perfect immortal body but He still has scars because when God raised His Son from the dead He could have erased the nail prints and a spear wound in His side. He left them there to remind us of the price He paid for our sins. Notice in this same verse in their hands the elders hold harps and golden bowls filled with incense.
The apostle John describes the Lamb as having seven horns and seven eyes because this symbolizes a composite image of what Jesus Christ is like because seven denotes completeness and perfection. I already reviewed that horns represent power but the seven eyes implies knowledge and intelligence. Put them both together and it is clear that we serve an All - Powerful Resurrected Savior that knows and understands everything. He also exercises constant care for His children. On the other hand it also means that those who rejected Him in one way or another will one day experience the searching scrutiny of their deeds by the Omnipotent Judge who they rejected.
Jesus Christ who is the Lamb takes the seven - sealed scroll from the right hand of the One who sits on the throne. We can see this in Revelation 5:8. Without hesitation the four beasts and twenty four elders fall down before the Lamb in worship because they understand that the events resulting in their redemption of creation are about to begin. In a couple of places in Scripture the Bible says this represents the earnest prayers of believers of past ages interceding before God to judge Satan and his disciples but also to liberate mankind and creation from the curse of sin. Verse eight writes about this sweet smelling incense and the very last part of the verse says ... "Which are the prayers of the saints." During the seven year tribulation one of our roles may be priests interceding to God on behalf of our tribulation brothers and sisters who are on earth.
Jesus Christ is our High Priest representing us before the throne of His Father. If you do not know the Lord now may be a good time to accept Jesus Christ into your heart as your High Priest by repenting of all your sins and inviting the Son of God into your life. I am comforted that I have a High Priest representing me before the throne of the Father. A sinner does not have this privilege in their life so in essence he or she is on their own being left to the lack of mercy from Satan and the world. There is a vast difference between these two different categories. Many unbelievers do not even understand they are on very dangerous ground because no Redeemer is in their hearts. If we do not have the Lamb of God that died for our sins we will die in our transgressions and not be in the possession of God. When a person dies whoever has possession of him or her will come and escort that individual to heaven or hell. Where do you want to go?
God bless you,