Tag Archives: Lamb of God

The Reward of the Lamb

“May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering!”

– The final words of two of the early Moravian missionaries as they sailed intentionally
into a life of slavery for the sake of the Gospel.

And they sang a new song, saying:

“You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
because you were slain,
and with your blood you purchased for God
persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.
You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
and they will reign[b] on the earth.”

-Revelation 5:9-10

The Father has ordained that Jesus should be glorified and worshiped by members of every tribe, tongue, and nation as a consequence of His purchasing them with His blood upon the cross.

The events of the cross should not be taken out of their place in history, rather the entire Bible is the story of God’s redemptive plan to rescue mankind from our own sinful condition. The cross and the resurrection represent the most crucial event in this ongoing plan of God to redeem people to Himself. Therefore, we should recognize that God’s ongoing plan to reach all nations as originally laid before Abraham in Genesis 12, is an ongoing work.

While Jesus’ death ultimately made the way to God free for all who would call upon the name of Jesus, the veil before God’s presence being torn asunder, ultimately we the church have now been entrusted with carrying the task to completion. We have been charged with the task of, through the power of the Holy Spirit, preaching the Gospel to every tribe, tongue, and nation that some would turn to Christ Jesus and give Him all of their worship.

This should be a joyous task for us. So often we make out as though it were a burden, or a great sacrifice to maintain active involvement in the mission of God’s people. Yet we are seeking to give the righteous reward to Him who suffered, died, and rose again to purchase our freedom and place before God. Instead of acting as though this were a great sacrifice, we should recognize that we have been purchased and adopted through a far greater sacrifice and that any action we take is for the love of our savior.

Have you advanced the Kingdom of the Lamb today?

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The Triumph of the Lamb

Can you imagine the day without the Lamb? As followers of Christ today, with the constant presence of the Holy Spirit to make clear the meanings behind difficult things as well as to comfort us, it is difficult to imagine the shock and confusion of the disciples. On the one hand it seems so strange that they would be unable to understand all of Jesus’ prior teaching about His up coming death and resurrection, but on the other hand we as humans are very foolish and it should come as no surprise that the disciples would be too.

Here they had been from Friday night until Sunday morning, weeping and deeply distressed by what had happened. The one they believed was Son of God and messiah had perished on a cross and died. I think we have lost hold of the depth of this scandal. How strange indeed that the Son of God would allow Himself to be beaten and killed. He had the full authority to put a sudden end to His oppressors, and yet He chose for the glory of God and our redemption to stay anyway.

Then suddenly Sunday morning, the disciples heard a strange report. Jesus was alive again. This was wholly unexpected. What could it mean?

We who celebrate the Lord’s resurrection every year at this time are prone to forget the depth of its implications. First of all, it serves as full verification of Jesus’ claims about His identity and power. Had Jesus not risen from the dead, our Faith would be useless and also likely non-existent. The idea ought to startle us, that a man should rise up from the grave and walk away by His own power. Certainly such an event has powerful implications.

Jesus is Lord. There should be no question in our mind that God the Father has vested the full authority of the God head in the person of the Son. The authority to overcome the grave and return to God on high reflects the fullness the Son’s power and might

Jesus has won total victory over the power of sin and death. The resurrection represents the total crushing of sin and death through the death of the righteous Son. In this moment the power of sin to trap and hold the followers of Christ was lost. Its only power now is in deception, convincing us that we are entangled when we are in fact not.

This victory serves to demand holiness from us. If Jesus has crushed sin and death once, for all time; then those who are filled with His Holy Spirit are free from entangling sin. We are called, and enabled to walk in holiness. To do less is to deliberately trample the cross underfoot and make it of no effect.

The final implication is that Jesus is that Jesus has become worthy of His own chosen reward, the worship of the redeemed from every tribe, tongue, and nation. I will address that topic separately in my next post.

The Supper of the Lamb

I intended this post to go up last night, but didn’t get the time to write it yesterday.

Matthew 26:26-29 NKJV

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”

Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”

1 Corinthians 11:26-32 NKJV

For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.

Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.

The early church took the Lord’s supper very, very seriously. Look at what Paul says in 1 Corinthians as quoted above, to eat and drink in an unworthy manner brings judgement on the one who takes it. All this trouble about something that most evangelicals hold to be just a symbol, Paul?

I am deeply concerned that we have grown anti-sacramental as a church. Jesus said “this is my body” and “this is my blood” and then Paul strongly condemned those who partook unworthily saying some were sick and had died as a result. Yet we persist in this notion that these sacraments are mere symbols, a notion which in the rather long history of Christianity is very young indeed; in fact even Martin Luther didn’t accept the doctrine that the were mere symbols, that innovation arose from other members of the reformation movement.

You may ask then, if I am embracing the old Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation. I am not, the whole point of the sacraments is that we don’t fully understand them, that is what makes them sacraments. Instead I am saying that in some spiritual way that neither I or anyone else will likely understand this side of heaven, the wine and bread are the body and blood of Jesus Christ. And this is important because as Leviticus 17:11 teaches us:

For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.’

When we as followers of Christ partake of the Lord’s supper we are taking His life into ourselves for purification and nourishment. We are in a physical, tangible way, embracing the reality of our salvation through Jesus Christ and the indwelling of His Holy Spirit in us.

This Passion week, investigate these things for yourself. Especially go back and read the oldest Christian witnesses. Don’t sell yourself short by denying the inherit spiritual power of this sacrament in your life.