Daily Devotional #13
Daily Devotional with Pastor John
Monday, February 28
The Wisdom and Power of the Lamb
Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the centre of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He has seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. He came and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne.
There are two Greek words translated “Lamb” in the New Testament. The one usually used is amnos. Amnos means an adult, fully-grown lamb. It is the word John the Baptizer used when he pointed at Jesus and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). The other word is arnion. Arnion means a baby lamb, a little lamb. This is the word the Apostle John uses here in our text. John turned and saw little lamb, Mary’s little lamb. But this little lamb did not have “fleece as white as snow.” This little Lamb was covered in the stains of blood.
The imagery is meant to convey the idea of weakness, helplessness and powerlessness. But John is also quick to tells us that this little lamb “had seven horns and seven eyes.” What does this imagery convey? Eyes in the Bible are usually pictures of wisdom. The number seven is often used as the number of completeness and essence. John is telling us that the Lamb is immensely wise. He also has seven horns. Horns in the Bible are used as a symbol of strength and power. The imagery of a lamb with seven horns and seven eyes looks grotesque to us, like a severe and ugly mutation. But the point that John is making is that this Lamb is immensely wise; he is also immensely powerful. The Lamb John sees is the perfection and essence of the wisdom and power of God.
In the apocalyptic literature of John’s day there was the figure of the warrior-lamb, a powerful lamb who leads the flock of God against the evil beasts of the world. But nowhere do these apocalyptic writings tell how the lamb wins. But John knew how. He says, “a Lamb looking as if it had been slain.” The conquering Lamb wins via the cross. The sacrifice of the Lamb wins the battle.
This tells us that the sacrificial way of the Lamb is the way to the fullness of life. The Lion of the tribe of Judah did not get to the throne by being a Lion but by being a lamb, a little lamb who lays down his life for others. The Lamb is not foolish – he has seven eyes! He is immensely wise. The Lamb is not weak and powerless – he has seven horns! He is immensely powerful. Without this vision we would never understand this important truth – the greatest power in the universe is the weakness of sacrificial love and the greatest wisdom in the world is the foolishness of sacrificial love. The Apostle Paul tells us elsewhere that Christ crucified is “the power of God and the wisdom of God” ( 1 Corinthians 1:24).
The teachings of Jesus underscore this important truth. He called blessed the weak, the poor, the humble and the meek. He said we must love our enemies and do good to those who persecute us. He taught us that we should continually love and forgive those who do evil against us. In the eyes of the world this is foolishness and weakness. But what the world calls wisdom turns out to be foolish, and what the world calls power turns out to be weakness. Paul points to this when he wrote, “God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the powerful” (1 Corinthians 1:27).
How comforting it is then to know that the nail-scarred hands of the Lamb hold the scroll. The unfolding and enacting of God’s plan is held firmly by the wise and powerful Lamb who is the only one in all the universe who is worthy to bring history to its pre-determined end. When the Lamb breaks the seals in Revelation chapters 6 and 7 we discover that everything, even the forces ranged against him, serve his purpose. The scroll unrolls toward his coming kingdom. The unfolding drama of history will end at the feet of the resurrected and reigning Lamb. Hallelujah!
- Thank God that it is him and not the seemingly powerful and wise people of the world who hold the real power in the hands.
- Pray that in these days of turmoil, war and uncertainty we will be empowered to live sacrificially and embody in our words and deeds the way of the Lamb those without Christ.
- Pray that our experience of full life in Christ will become attractive to people have relied for so long on their own strength and wisdom to get them through life.
- Pray for the Church in the Ukraine to live the way of the Lamb in the face of violence and tyranny.