In Revelation 5, John is weeping because no one is found worthy to open the scroll. Then one of the elders present tells John, “Do not weep! See the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, he is able to open the scroll and its seven seals” (v5). However, when John looks up, “he sees a Lamb, looking as though it had been slain standing at the center of the throne.” These few verses encapsulate the gospel in its ‘weakness’ and its power, like two sides of the same coin.
God often uses the seemingly weak to achieve the most powerful changes. A stammering Moses, a doubtful Gideon, a scared Elijah, to just name but a few. However, the best example of a seemingly weak person being used for powerful change is none other than Jesus Himself. The prophet Isaiah says it so well, “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not (Isa 53:2-3). Yet, at the close of the age, every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess that Jesus, this once weak Lamb that was led to the slaughter, is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Phil 2:5-11).
Unfortunately, when people are full of pride and self-righteousness, it is hard to accept that one needs to be saved by a weak, slain Lamb. To be saved by a powerful ‘lion’ might be acceptable, but not by a weak Lamb and to even suggest that would be offensive to the proud. But God has always shown his power in weakness. Paul, when writing to the church at Corinth says, “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullifythe things that are, so that no one may boast before him. (1 Cor 1:27-29).
We do well to pray that the Lord would humble us by His Holy Spirit so that we would think less of ourselves and more of the weak Lamb that is able to save for the sin of pride is so close to us. It’s OK to be ‘weak’ when we are serving the Lamb for it is only then that the Holy Spirit may do powerful things through us (2 Cor 12:10). It will also ensure that the Lamb receives the glory and praise that is due to him.
In Revelation 5, although John sees the Lamb as though it was slain, the Lamb should no longer be regarded as weak. He now stands beside the throne, a position of infinite power. In fact, the whole heavenly cosmos is already singing praise about the Lamb who was worthy and the One who sits on the throne. “In a loud voice, they sang: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and praise!” 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 honour and glory and power, forever and ever!” Surely, we can do no less here on earth now and look forward to the day when we can join the heavenly throng singing praises to the Lamb who was slain for our salvation. JZ.