WORTHY! The Lamb

And I heard around the throne…the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive…" -Revelation 5:11-12

What does Jesus deserve? In a word, “everything.” But just so we’re clear, the angels in Revelation 5 shout in unison seven desirable things that everyone possesses, all of which Jesus deserves to receive. Over the course of the next few months, we’re going to explore the angels’ song; we’re going to explore Jesus’ worth.

That is how their song begins: “Worthy.” He deserves all these things—everything. It is just and right. It is good and appropriate. Anything else, anything other, anything less, is inappropriate, unjust, wrong and even wicked.

So don’t play games with Jesus. Don’t bargain or barter. Don’t hold back in reserve some part of your self. Fall face down and slide everything across the floor to His feet.

Why? Because He is the Lamb. What does this mean?

First, this describes Jesus’ role: the Lamb. Now, the center of Israelite worship—outlined by the LORD—was the Tabernacle. And the life of the Tabernacle was built around the altar. And so the priesthood existed to serve the Tabernacle, which existed to serve the altar, which existed to serve the sacrifice of…the lambs. The priest wasn’t the mediator, not ultimately. The Tabernacle wasn’t the meeting place, not ultimately. The altar wasn’t the holy thing, not ultimately. They all served the offerings, the substitutes, the lambs. It was the lambs, slain to make atonement for the sins of God’s people, who took that sin and died with it in our place.

But then, you know the story, it was never about the lambs either. The lambs were about…The Lamb. There was only ever One Lamb. Only one sacrifice for sin. Only one who could take His people’s sin. Only one who could mediate between them and God. Only one in whom heaven and earth could meet. Only One Lamb slain. The many lambs existed to prepare us for Him. And all creation exists to glorify His sacrifice.

For, like a lamb, He was slain. Like a lamb—He knew what He was about. He’d seen lambs led to slaughter; He knew where His road led. And so He was slain—killed, murdered, bloodied, butchered, slaughtered.

Second, this describes Jesus’ character: lamb-like. Of all the injustices, travesties, against innocence that have ever stained this world and our hands, this was the worst. None can compare. This is true. Of all the “little lambs” who have suffered, none deserved it less. Of all the sufferings suffered, none were more dislocated from what was deserved.

Here’s why: Jesus came with only love in His heart. And not just any love, but full, perfect, love. He never pulled up short, never quit, never shirked, never begrudged, never traded-away, never hesitated; always gave, always kept His word, always said it, always meant it, always thought it and did it too. His love was full; His love was perfect. Far from mere innocence, here we find perfect righteousness! Not only did He not deserve to be slain, He deserves all power, wealth, wisdom, might, honor, glory, and blessing!

That’s why the angels sing: it is time He gets what He deserves. Doesn’t that sound wonderful? Don’t you want to join them? So we shall, someday soon. But now, today, won’t you pause and praise Jesus, the Lamb? Pause and give Him some of what He deserves, both in praise and in swift obedience. He deserves it all.

Photo by Daniel Sandvik  on Unsplash