Worthy Is The Lamb!
WORTHY IS THE LAMB
Part 3 of The Glory Realm. Revelation 5:1-14.
Peter Foxwell. The Cornerstone Church. July 16, 2017.
INTRODUCTION: WORTHY IS THE LAMB
On Friday, Kim and I took 8 students to visit Cornerstone University. One of the most impressive buildings is Christ Chapel. The huge stained glass windows depict the crucial moments in the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus. The wood panels around the auditorium are carved with titles of Christ, On one panel is a lighted cross and the carving, “Worthy Is The Lamb,” which is taken from our passage today. The entire chapel is dedicated to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Our worship on earth must reflect the worship in heaven. And one of the best places to find heavenly worship is Revelation chapter 5. It is a most wonderful glimpse of heavenly worship. It take place around God’s throne and it is focused on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Verse 5: He is the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David. This is a royal title. Jesus is the promised eternal King, the Messiah - not just of Israel but also the whole world (see Daniel 7:13-14 and Genesis 49:8-10).
Verse 5: He has triumphed. He conquered sin and the grave. He is alive forever, reigning in heaven (see Colossians 2:15, Ephesians 4:8; 2 Corinthians 2:14).
Verse 5: Therefore, he is able to open the scroll. The scroll is God’s last will and testament. Almighty God has named the Lamb to be his heir. The scroll is his authority to conquer God’s enemies on earth and to take his promised eternal inheritance: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.” - Revelation 11:15
Verse 6: He is the Lamb who was slain. Verse 9 tells us why: He died to purchase us for God, so we would serve him as priests in his Kingdom. The picture is of a sacrifice for sins: the Passover Lamb, (Exodus 12:3-6); the Suffering Servant (Isaiah 53:7); the suffering prophet (Jeremiah Jeremiah 11:9).
Verse 6: The Lamb stands at the center of the throne because he is the ruler of the kings of the earth (Revelation 1:5). He is the all powerful king (7 horns - cf horn in Daniel 7:24) and he is all knowing (7 spirits).
Verses 8-14: The Lamb is worshipped: everyone falls down before him; everyone sings a new song (see Isaiah 42:10-13); everyone gives him honor.
Worship in heaven is a celebration of the Lion and the Lamb. Why?
First, because the Lamb has already triumphed at the cross:
“Having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” - Colossians 2:15
And then, because the Lion is about to triumph in conquest: Revelation chapters 6-19 describe his war against God’s enemies on earth. He’ll fight against people, cities, nations, rulers, Satan, and demonic armies. The wrath of the Lamb (6:16) is pictured as a series of awful judgments: the 7 seals, the 7 trumpets, the 7 bowls. It all culminates in one final battle (Armageddon, 16:14-16) - which ends in the final triumph of the Lamb (Revelation 19:11-21). The Lamb is coming out to strike down the nations. He is coming out of heaven to rule them with an iron scepter. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
So … what does the heavenly worship of the Lion and the Lamb teach us about our corporate worship? When we worship together, what should it look like?
OUR CORPORATE WORSHIP WILL BE SHAPED BY:
Singing to the Lamb - the Savior. In Revelation 5:9-10, the living creatures and elders sing a new song to the Lamb. This is the song of redemption. It’s all about the cross, blood-bought salvation, and a church from all nations - for all nations. Later in Revelation, we see the raptured church worshipping the Lamb:
“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” - Revelation 7:9-10
Our worship will always be a celebration of the living Christ, his cross, and his church. Our worship will flow from our hearts as joyful, unrestrained, grateful, and unforced. We totally relate to the hymn line: “This is our story, this is our song, praising the Savior all the day long.”
Our worship together will also be shaped by …
Surrender to the Lion - the Sovereign. The Lion of the Tribe of Judah is a royal title first given in a prophecy back in Genesis 49:
“Judah, your brothers will praise you; your hand will be on the neck of your enemies; your father’s sons will bow down to you. 9 You are a lion’s cub, Judah; you return from the prey, my son. Like a lion he crouches and lies down, like a lioness—who dares to rouse him? 10 The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he to whom it belongs shall come and the obedience of the nations shall be his.” - Genesis 49:8-10
What is surrendered worship? It is a declaration:
In our surrendered worship, we declare, “Jesus is King.”
“The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.” 16 And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying: “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign. 18 The nations were angry, and your wrath has come.” - Revelation 11:15-18
In our surrendered worship, we declare, “Jesus will win.”
“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations.” - Revelation 19:10-15
This kind of worship is bold and loud and proud. We’re not ashamed to testify to the triumphant Lion of Judah. We lift high the name above every name. “All Hail King Jesus! All hail his majesty!”
Have you ever thought of this: worship is very powerful. The singing and the praying and the preaching create a great moving and shaking and breaking in the invisible spiritual world.
Faith springs up.
Salvation flows out.
Sin loses its grip.
Surrendered worship is war. It pounds against satan and sin and darkness. The Kingdom comes. No enemy can stand. We are set free.
Worship is our passionate pursuit. We must not relent. We must intensify.