The Lamb Who Was Slain
Passage: Revelation 5:1–5:14
John sees a sealed scroll in the hand of God, and though he cannot yet see what it says, he knows the scroll stands for the authority of God to rule and judge the world and set to right the ruin made by human sin. John weeps because he knows we need the scroll opened. He knows we need God to judge the evil of the world and make right what we made wrong. He knows that unless God steps in and stops evil, evil will run rampant, killing everything and everyone in its path. The world is a beautiful but broken place, and we need God to restore peace and justice. So when no one is found worthy to open the scroll, John weeps. But this fact should give us pause. What we so desperately need will actually destroy us. While we are so busy looking out at the evil in the world, we tend to forget to look in at the evil in our own hearts. We are all guilty participants in the rebellion of the world against its Creator. None of us is worthy to open the scroll. In fact, none of us can survive the opening of the scroll. Our only hope is that God can make a way for sin to be destroyed without us sinners being destroyed as well. Can he save us from all sin, including our own? Can he right the wrongs of the world and the wrongs in each of our hearts? This is the need we have, and, seeing this need, John weeps. But while the weeping may last for a night, joy will come. There is good news! God will not let evil triumph; instead, he has given us a ruler who has triumphed over evil. The Lion of Judah is worthy to take the scroll. And so John looks up. Through eyes clouded by tears he sees what he does not expect. Where he expected a Lion, he sees instead a Lamb. And not just any lamb, he sees a Lamb that has been slain as a sacrifice. This is how God destroyed sin without destroying us. The Lion is a Lamb, a lamb slain for the sins of God’s people - from every tribe and language and people and nation.
Community Group Questions:
1. What part of the text or sermon had the greatest impact on you? Where were you most encouraged, intrigued, challenged?
2. Why would John weep when no one was found worthy to open to scroll? How might John's response resonate with us as we look around at the world today? (Consider pulling out a device and listening to Andrew Peterson's song "Is He Worthy?")
3. Think about the differences between lions and lambs. Which characteristics of each does the Bible want us to associate with Christ? Why is it significant that Jesus is both the Lion of Judah and the Lamb of God?
4. Read Genesis 49:8-12. How does Jesus fulfill this prophecy from Jacob?
5. How does your spirit respond to hearing the praise of heaven for Jesus?
6. Revelation 5:9-10 have inspired world missions like perhaps no other passage besides the Great Commission we read last week (Matt. 28:16-20). Why is that? What makes these verses so important and meaningful with regard to sharing the gospel? How should we respond to these verses?
Monday - Isaiah 58
Tuesday - Isaiah 59
Wednesday - Isaiah 60
Thursday - Isaiah 61-62
Friday - Isaiah 63-64
Saturday - Isaiah 65
Sunday - Isaiah 66