Wrapping up my 2013 reading plan this morning . . . hovering over Revelation 21 and 22. A bit in awe of the wonder of that which is yet to come. Taking note again of the promises. Promises of things that won’t be there . . . like tears or mourning . . . no more crying nor pain . . . death is done! (21:4) And promises of things that will be there . . . the spring of the water of life able to satisfy for eternity and, still without payment (21:7) . . . the ability and access to gaze upon the face of God . . . able to see Him both as the Father and the Son. And there will be worship (22:3, 8) . . . ya’ think?
But what jumped off the page, as it has before as I’ve read through Revelation, is the number of times reference is made to the Lamb . . . 7 times in these last two chapters. That Christ is seen in heaven is no surprise . . . but that He is recognized and referred to so often as “the Lamb” is.
Of all the ways in which Jesus might be known, why is it that the most enduring for eternity will apparently be that of the Lamb? He could be known as the Lion of Judah . . . forever gazed upon as the Bridegroom . . . revered endlessly as the Conquering Warrior . . . bowed before gladly as the Majesty on High, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. And to be sure, He will be. But, as John views the culmination of God’s plan of salvation, He sees the Lamb, again and again.
The Lamb come to take away the sin of the world (John 1:29) . . . the Lamb, though the Son of God, made of no reputation that He might taste death for every person . . . the Lamb, whose blood shed on the cross of Calvary was the once for all, sufficient, atoning offering for all transgression . . . the Lamb who, after three days in the grave, rose victorious, conquering sin and death . . . the Lamb who is now ascended, having gone to prepare a place for us . . . the Lamb, for eternity recognized, known, and worshiped as the Lamb.
If it were me, I might strike the image from heaven. In a place where there is no death, why be reminded of the death of the Son of God? In a place where there is no sin, why consider and reconsider the awful wages of sin? In a place where all things are new, why the tie with that of old?
But even as I consider the option of a Lamb-less heaven . . . and ask what quickly seem to be ridiculous questions . . . I sense the wonder that will be ours for eternity as we behold the Lamb.
For eternity, the grace of God will be known in the Son. Every time we look to the throne of God, and see the Lamb in the midst, we’ll know afresh the depths of God’s love. The nail prints will be a forever reminder of the extreme God went to in order to redeem a people for Himself.
And the awe will flow . . . just like “the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb” (22:2). And we’ll raise our heads . . . and, with loud voices, join angels in praise of His everlasting works. And our knees will buckle . . . and we’ll go facedown in unrestrained worship of all that He is.
Behold the Lamb . . . the Lamb forever.
To Him be all glory . . .