The Lion Who Is The Lamb

The Apocalypse continues in chapter 5 the theocentric vision in the throne room. “One” seated on the throne has a scroll in his right hand. The scroll is sealed, and no one is found in heaven or on earth, worthy to open it. The one who sits at the right hand of the “One” is Jesus. He is himself the scroll, the Word that is sealed, hidden from the enemies of the church. The vision is given in four parts. In the first part, a strong angel, i.e., the voice of the divine, calls out, “who is worthy to open the scroll?” A rhetorical question, since the living one is the one who opens and shuts. Who is worthy to know Jesus? No one in heaven, earth, or hades. No one, living or dead, can unseal this secret word. In the second part of the vision , one of the elders reveals that the Lion of the tribe of Judah who has already conquered can open the scroll, i.e., the living one. John looks into the center of the throne room, and instead of seeing a Lion, sees a slain Lamb. The Lion returns as the Lamb. The Lamb has seven horns, which means it is omnipotent, and seven eyes, which means that it is omniscient. The living one, as the slain Lamb, has complete power and insight to unseal the scroll and understand it, because the Scroll, The Word, The Lion, and The Lamb are one and the same. The slain Lamb gives itself to the church as the Word, the Lamb reveals who he is as what he is. In the next scene, the 24 elders and the 4 living creatures, the totality of which is all creation and humanity, worship the Lamb with music and prayers and a new song. The New Song is itself a revealing of the Lamb as the “One” who has redeemed the world by his blood, and the redeemed shall rule over all the earth. Those who conquer shall have dominion. The final scene of the vision takes us back to the heart of the throne room where large multitudes join in singing the New Song, the content of which is now disclosed. Jesus has power, wealth, wisdom, might, honor, glory and blessing. The New Song reveals that Jesus possesses all the characteristics of the divine, the “One” on the throne. Jesus is revealed in the Song as the everlasting power of God, for which he is given worship, praise and honor. To all this disclosure, the four living creatures shouted “Amen!”, that is, invoking an earlier Name of the divine, and consecrating Jesus as the one who now bears that title. The worship continued in the prostration of the elders. The message of the vision is that the churches can be confident that God will deliver them through the Blood of the Lamb, and this is the true hope of the church.

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