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Worthy is The Lamb: OK, Let’s Worship Some More! (Part 2)

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Because Jesus is a Lion-like Lamb and a Lamb-like Lion, he has the right to bring the world to an end for the glory of his name and the good of his people. He is worthy of all of our worship.

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Text: Revelation 5:1-14
Date: 02/04/17 File name: Revelation_13b.wpd ID Number:
Theme: Because Jesus is a Lion-like Lamb and a Lamb-like Lion, he has the right to bring the world to an end for the glory of his name and the good of his people. He is worthy of all of our worship.
Jesus is exclusively worthy of our worship. This is what Revelation 5:1-5 teaches us. God holds a scroll telling the story of end-time events. This includes the salvation of God’s people and the judgment of the wicked. The scroll contains the details of God’s plans for the resolution of human history, the overthrow of evil, and the gathering of a redeemed people to forever enjoy the blessings of God’s rule. The only one in all of God’s creation worthy to break the seals and open the scroll is God the Son, because he is central to the story. He is the Lion of Judah, and the Root of David. These are very Jewish ways of saying that Jesus is God’s Anointed One ... he is Messiah!
Jesus is worthy to break the seals and read the scroll because he has ...
defeated sin (Rom. 8:3)
defeated death (Heb. 2:14–15)
defeated Satan, and all the forces of hell (Col. 2:15; 1 Pet. 3:19)
If you want to know what Heaven is like ... if you want to know some of things we will be doing in Heaven, then these are two must-read chapters for the Christian.
Heaven is a real place, and is the Christian’s hope. Our citizenship is in Heaven. Everything that is important to a believer is in Heaven: The Father is there, our Savior is there, our Comforter is there, all of God’s people through history are (or will be) there, your reward is there. This is why the Apostle Paul said, “For me to die is gain.” Let’s look at some of the things we will experience in Heaven. Revelation 5:5-10.

II. JESUS IS EXCEEDINGLY WORTHY OF WORSHIP

1. this morning, I want you to understand that Jesus is also exceedingly worthy of our worship
a. He is exceedingly worthy of our worship because Jesus outdoes, outmatches, outstrips, outclasses, surmounts, surpasses, transcends, and trumps any other person
“the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: 11 “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”” (Revelation 4:10–11, NIV84)
“And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. 10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”” (Revelation 5:8–10, NIV84)
2. in both chapters 4 and 5, the scene is in heaven
a. Revelation chapters 4 and 5 provide us a keyhole glimpse of what will be going on in heaven before God pours out His judgments on the earth (Rev 6-18)
b. worship of the Godhead is the central focus of these two chapters
3. this morning, let me give you the three reasons way Jesus is so exceedingly worthy of our worship

A. HE IS WORTHY BECAUSE OF CREATION

1. in Rev. 4:11 John writes, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”
2. we often use the word creative to express man’s ability to “create” beautiful things, but in reality, we can only take things that already exist, and simply manipulate them
ILLUS. John MacArthur tells the story of a group of scientists who were fed up with the literal interpretation of Genesis and the creation story, and that so many Americans continue to believe it. So the scientists sent an emissary to talk with God about the whole thing. The scientist tells God, “These days we can clone people, transplant organs and do all sorts of things that used to be considered miraculous. God, mankind simply doesn’t need you any longer. Why, we can even create life from the base elements of the earth just like you did.” God smiled a sly smile and said, “Oh really? Are you willing to have a contest?” The scientist, in his secular arrogance said, “Of course!” God said, “OK, You go first.” The scientist said, “First, I’ll need to gather the basic building blocks for life,” and the scientist bent over to scoop up some dirt. God interrupts, “Oh, no, no, no. That's my dirt, you need to make your own dirt."
3. God’s power, and majesty, and sovereignty are revealed in His creation of all things in this vast universe
a. the universe that God created is so boundless that we marvel at God’s power
b. the Creator has made all things from the smallest pollen spore to the largest star
1) and He has done it through and for His Son
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:15–17, NIV84)
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” (John 1:1–3, NIV84)
ILLUS. Weather it’s Leviathan swimming in the ocean, or a quark — the smallest atomic particle yet discovered — if it exists, it was created by our Lord Christ, and for our Lord Christ.
c. thus, the work of creation is one of the reason for the elders expressing their praise to the Lord God
3. Jesus Is Exceedingly Worthy of Our Worship Because all Things Were Created for His Pleasure, Including Us

B. HE IS WORTHY BECAUSE OF CALVARY

“Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7 He came and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne.” (Revelation 5:6–7, NIV84)
1. I love the transition between verses five and six
a. in vs. 5 one of the twenty-four elders tells John that there is one, and only one, who is worthy to read the scroll
1) it is the one who is the Lion of the tribe of Judah, and Root of David
b. at that point, John turns expecting to see the glorious Messianic figure foretold by the prophets
c. instead, he sees a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain (literally slaughtered)
1) here is one of the great paradoxes of Scriptures
a) the Jewish Anointed One, is the Christian Savior
b) the mighty King is the crucified Son
c) the Son of Man is the Son of God
d) the triumphant Lion is the slaughtered Lamb
d. notice three important facts about this Lamb
2. 1st, Jesus is a Redeeming Lamb — John turns and see a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain
a. the “Lamb”is a symbol of Jesus Christ at His first advent, meek and submissive to a sacrificial death as our substitute
“He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.” (Isaiah 53:7, NIV84)
b. the Lamb that John sees looked as though it had been slain
1) the word slain would better be translated slaughtered — it means to cut up and mutilate an animal for sacrifice
2) it speaks of a violent, bloody sacrifice
ILLUS. It describes the gory crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ. Thorns gouged His skull. A whip lacerated His back. Fists bruised His face. Nails pierced His hands. A spear tore open His side.
c. Jesus is the Lamb of God, slaughtered, who takes away the sin of the world
1) in Rev. 5:9, the Four Living Creatures and the Twenty-four Elders all break out into a song of praise, and one of the lines in that song of praise says, “ ... and with your blood you purchased men for God ...”
2) and he purchased them from every “ ... tribe and language and people and nation.”
d. in the opening narrative of the Gospel of John we read that John the Baptist sees Jesus and proclaims, “ ... “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29, NIV84)
ILLUS. In 2004 Chris Tomlin wrote the song, “Mighty Is the Power of the Cross.” He begins by asking a series of questions ...
What can take a dying man and raise him up to life again?
What can heal a wounded soul?
What can make us white as snow?
What can fill the emptiness?
What can mend our brokenness?
The chorus resounds with the answer ...
Mighty, awesome, wonderful
Is the holy cross
Where the Lamb laid down His life
To lift us from the fall
Mighty is the power of the cross
3. 2nd, Jesus is a Resurrected Lamb — John turns to see a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing
a. this slain lamb is not dead, but living!
b. this lamb had given up its life as a sacrifice, but now this Lamb has risen from the dead
4. 3rd, Jesus is a Reigning Lamb — John turns to see a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne
a. John sees the Lamb — our Savior, and Lord — standing in the center of the throne that John see God sitting on in Rev. 4:2-3
1) how can this be? It’s Jewish apocalyptic literature — anything can happen!
2) the meaning should be obvious — Jesus, as the Second Person of the Trinity — reigns with the Father, because God the Son is just as much God as is God the Father
“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.” (Hebrews 1:3, NIV84)
3) in our defense of this truth we must be very careful and very bold — belligerent, if need be
b. this reigning lamb has seven horns which speaks of his omnipotence, and seven eyes which speaks of his omniscience
1) in other words, Jesus h as all authority, and all wisdom to rule heaven and earth
5. Jesus Is Exceedingly Worthy of Our Worship Because He Is the Lamb, Sacrificed at Calvary for the Sins of God’s People, Raised From the Dead, and Ascended to Heaven, and Seated on His Father’s Throne

C. HE IS WORTHY BECAUSE OF CONQUEST

1. Jesus is exceedingly worthy of our worship because he is Lord of Creation, and because he is the Slain Lamb at Calvary, and Jesus is exceedingly worthy of our worship because of triumph over sin, Satan, and death
“Then 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, NIV84)
a. the word translated triumphed is nikaō (nik - ah - o)
1) we talked about this a few weeks ago — it means to conquer, it means to win, it means to defeat, it means to gain victory over
2. the Lion of Judah conquered because he was willing to act the part of a slain Lamb
a. he came into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday like a King on the way to a throne, and he went out of Jerusalem on Good Friday like a Lamb on the way to the slaughter
b. he drove out the robbers from the Temple like a Lion devouring its prey, and then at the end of the week he gave his majestic neck to the knife, and they slaughtered the Lion of Judah like a Lamb
c. so he conquered sin and death and Satan not just because he was a Lion, but because he was a Lamb-like Lion
d. but he is also the Lion-like Lamb!
1) in chapter six we will see that this Lamb is terrifying in his wrath
“They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!” (Revelation 6:16, NIV84)
2. this Lamb is the One who has prevailed ... He is the one who is victorious
“Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” (1 Corinthians 15:24–26, NIV84)
3. because the Lamb has triumphed, and prevailed, he will reign over his kingdom
“And they sang a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. 10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”” (Revelation 5:9–10, NIV84)
3. Jesus Is Exceedingly Worthy of Our Worship Because He Has Conquered Sin, and Death, and Satan

II. APPLICATION

A. JESUS CHRIST WILL CARRY OUT GOD’S FINAL PURPOSES ON EARTH (5:5-7)

1. in Rev. 5:5, one of the elders said to John, “Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.”
2. as God’s Anointed One, Jesus alone possessed the authority necessary for this task
a. he overcame Satan, sin, and death so He could implement God’s purposes for the future that this scroll reveals
b. only Christ can carry out God’s final purposes on earth
3. eagerly, John turns his head to see this Lion-King
a. but the apostle is not prepared for what he sees
1) he expects to see the majestic, regal, awe-inspiring Lion of Judah
2) instead he see a Lamb, literally — a little Lamb
ILLUS. J.P. Love, in his commentary on Revelation, says, “None but an inspired composer of heavenly visions would ever have thought of it. When earth-bound men want symbols of power they conjure up mighty beasts and birds of prey. Russia elevates the bear, Britain the lion, France the tiger, the United States the spread eagle — all of them ravenous. It is only the Kingdom of Heaven that would dare to use as its symbol of might, not the Lion for which John was looking but the helpless Lamb, and at that, a slain lamb.”
b. as the Lion-like Lamb, Jesus carried out God’s perfect redemptive purpose on Earth
1) by his death, he redeemed a people unto himself for all eternity
c. but, as the Lamb-like Lion, he is coming again in majestic, regal, awe-inspiring power to establish his kingdom on Earth
1) his redeemed people will reign with him in his kingdom

B. GOD IS NO RESPECTER OF PERSONS AND NEITHER SHOULD WE BE

1. one of the truths we are repeatedly reminded of in the Book of Revelation is that God’s Kingdom will be multi-ethnic, and multi-national
a. if you’re a racist? ... you’re gonna be miserable in Heaven ... if you get there!
b. Rev. 5:9 reminds us that in the Kingdom all races will be united
1) they will be united around their passion for God and their unity in Christ
ILLUS. There are 6,528 known languages in the world. Besides these, there are tribal and ethnic divisions within languages. Christ died to ransom people from them all.
c. Psalm 96:3 says, “Tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples.”
1) why? The next verses answers: “For great is the LORD and greatly to be praised.”
2) in other words, the nations must be summoned to participate because the greatness of the praise depends on it.
3) God means for his praise to be great, and unity in diversity is greater than uniformity
2. Rev. 5:9 means that all people groups will eventually be reached for Christ
3. Rev. 5:9 should motivate us as a church and as individuals to fulfill our responsibility for world evangelization ...
a. either by going — even if it is just a short-term trip
b. or by giving so that others who are willing to go can be sent

C. JESUS CHRIST IS WORTHY OF OVERWHELMING PRAISE

1. you were made to adore Jesus Christ
a. the human heart was made to stand in awe of the Creator
ILLUS. Augustine, early Church Father and the Church’s first great theologian wrote, “Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.”
b. Jesus Christ, is Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, King of kings, and Lord of lords
c. and if your heart is not much taken up with him, then you don’t need to look any farther to know the deepest source of your frustration
2. when Jesus receives the scroll, there is an outpouring of praise for the Lamb because it signaled that Christ would begin judging
“Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12 In a loud voice they sang: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” 13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” 14 The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.” (Revelation 5:11–14, NIV84)
3. Jesus is so exceedingly worthy of our worship that the saints in heaven and the angels in heaven will forever give praise and honor and glorify and ascribe power to the Lion of Judah who looks like a Lamb
a. an innumerable host of angels now joins the four creatures and 24 elders in ascribing worth to the Lamb
ILLUS. The Greek word for “myriad” means 10,000. We talked about this a little last week. “Myriad of myriad” would mean 10,000 times 10,000. That’s 100 million! But this is in the plural — “myriads of myriads” — meaning hundreds of millions times hundreds of millions. Now were getting into the billions! But then John records that there are still “thousands of thousands” in addition to the billions. One thousand times one thousand is one million. But again, this is in the plural (“thousands of thousands”). So there are multiplied millions of angels spilling over the multiplied billions of angels who all worship the Lamb along with the Saints.
4. this staggering number exceeds the limits of human language and our ability to comprehend
a. worship in Heaven will simply blow your mind!
Over the centuries, many artists have attempted to artistically imagine worship in heaven. One of the most famous attempts is considered a world treasure. It is the Ghent Altarpiece in St. Bavo's Cathedral, in the city of Ghent in Belgium. They were created in the early 15th century by two brothers.
The Altarpiece is formally known as The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb. The focus of the work is the seven foot, by four foot lower main panel which shows the adoration of the Lamb of God. In the center of the panel is a lamb, standing on a Dais, surrounded by fourteen angels arranged in a circle. The lamb, which is standing, has a wound on its breast from which blood gushes into a golden chalice, yet it shows no outward expression of pain. Large crowds of people stream towards him in worship in four groupings. A dove, representing the Holy Spirit, hovers low in the sky directly above the lamb. In the center foreground, the fountain of life consists of a large stream of water, ending with a jewel-laden bed. In the distance, a minutely detailed cityscape recalls New Jerusalem.
The Altarpiece in St. Bavo’s Cathedral, gives us a glimpse of what its Medieval creators thought Heaven was going to be like as John sees it in his vision. I haven’t got a clue if Heaven is going to look like this or not, but I know one thing — I long to see Lion-Lamb who is my Savior.
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