Posts tagged ‘Lamb’

Scrolls, Lions, Lambs & Leadership

Credit: Pxfuel

In Revelation 5, John is in the thick of a heavenly vision when he sees a scroll with writing on both sides. This vision hearkens back the call of the prophet Ezekiel, who also sees a heavenly scroll:

Then I looked, and I saw a hand stretched out to me. In it was a scroll, which he unrolled before me. On both sides of it were written words of lament and mourning and woe. (Ezekiel 2:9-10)

When God calls Ezekiel, He gives Ezekiel His words to speak, even if these words are words are difficult words of judgment.

But when John has his cherubic vision of a two-sided scroll, things have changed:

Then I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. (Revelation 5:1-3

Ezekiel’s scroll was unrolled. John’s scroll is sealed.

When John sees that the scroll is sealed, he has a bit of a breakdown:

I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. (Revelation 5:4)

John wants to know what’s in the scroll! Words of divine judgment? Words of divine grace? But no one can unroll the scroll – that is, until John hears a voice:

One of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.” (Revelation 5:5)

John is instructed to direct his attention to a Lion who can open the scroll. But then, in a strange and fantastic shift in images, this Lion turns out to be a Lamb:

Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders … He went and took the scroll from the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. (Revelation 5:6-7)

John sees Jesus as a Lion, but also as the Lamb.

Jesus can indeed be a Lion. His interactions with the religious leaders of His day demonstrate how He fiercely fights those who oppose God. But He is also the Lamb. He doesn’t just roar in judgment, He goes quietly to a cross for our salvation. And it’s Jesus’ sacrifice as the Lamb that allows Him to open these seals:

When He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. … And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because You were slain, and with Your blood You purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.” (Revelation 5:8-9)

If given the choice, I suspect that many of us would much rather be like a lion and not so much like a lamb. After all, lions are strong and command respect and even fear. But Christ willingly derives His authority from His sacrifice as the Lamb, even though He already had all authority as a Lion.

As we lead, do we seek to be a lion, or do we willingly sacrifice as a Lamb? The willingness to sacrifice is not normal. But it is Divine. And it is how we want Jesus to lead us. After all, if He led us only as a Lion, we would be devoured in judgment. But as the Lamb, He leads us by grace. May we lead the same way.

August 9, 2021 at 5:15 am Leave a comment


Follow Zach

Enter your email address to subscribe to Pastor Zach's blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,111 other followers


%d bloggers like this: