Putting God's Word into Practice…

Revelation 5 ~ Truth and Worship

Then I saw IN THE RIGHT HAND of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals.  And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. And one of the elders said to me, “WEEP NO MORE; BEHOLD, THE LION OF THE TRIBE OF JUDAH, THE ROOT OF DAVID, HAS CONQUERED SO THAT HE CAN OPEN THE SCROLL AND ITS SEVEN SEALS. (Revelation 5:1-5)

The scroll contains future events.  It is encouraging to know that the entire future of our lives and the world are resting in the powerful, authoritative right hand of God the Father!  The future wrath, judgment, suffering, redemption, and restoration are all in His grasp.  He is always in control!

The unholiness of mankind and the condition of the world broke John’s heart.  He wept–loudly.  Whenever we are in despair, when discouragement sets in, when things feel hopeless; all is not lost! WEEP NO MORE; BEHOLD JESUS!!!  Look at Him, gaze upon Him, set your heart and mind on the One who is able, powerful and essential to our future!!!  He is our Hope!

In Revelation 5 we see Jesus referenced in three ways.  First is as the Lion of the tribe of Judah.  He is the ruler and protector of His people.  He is filled with strength and majesty.  His presence invokes reverence and awe! The Root of David is the second name.  Jesus was born into the lineage of a king fulfilling the prophecy that the promised Messiah would also be the King!  And finally in verse 6 we see Jesus referred to as “a Lamb standing as though it had been slain.”  Jewish sacrifice required a pure, spotless lamb to be slain everyday as an offering to cover intentional and unintentional sins.  According to Leviticus 4:7 the blood of the sin offering was “poured out” at the base of the altar in the temple.  In Matthew 26:27-28 Jesus told His disciples that His blood would be “poured out” for the forgiveness of the sins of many.  John the Baptist declared in John 1:29, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.”

Beholding Jesus leads to worship!  Knowing the truth about Jesus–who He is and what He has done on our behalf–leads us to worship!  Jesus alone is worthy of–deserving, entitled to– unadulterated (undiluted, absolute) worship!

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” (vs. 12)  “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped. (vs. 13b-14)

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Hebrews 10:1-19 ~ If God is Good….

If God is good, why would he let His own Son die?  Sometimes we question God like this about our own suffering; like He can’t possibly understand or mean to let us suffer, like He’s made a mistake somehow.  Suffering is never a mistake or a waste in the hands of God.  When He allows suffering, there is always a purpose.  When He watched His Son die on the cross, we were the purpose!  And Jesus, He didn’t get mad or question His Father.  In fact in Hebrews 12 it says of Jesus, “For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross.”

God’s goodness and love for you and me made it necessary for Jesus to be broken, beaten, and nailed to a cross.  God knows that we are all sinners, born that way–rebellious and selfish–separated from Him.  Hebrews 9:22 says, “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.”  Jesus shed His blood once for all people for all time.

God wrote His law on our hearts and minds; therefore, it is our hearts and minds where the law is broken.  Sin runs deep–our sinful actions and speech are an outflow of our sinful hearts and minds.  Nothing can cleanse the inner man except the blood of Christ.  His perfect sacrifice can purify our hearts and minds, sanctifying us–setting us apart as holy to God.

It was God’s will that Christ should die–His good, acceptable and perfect will.

“Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.”   And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.  Hebrews 10:17-18

Freedom, joy, forgiveness, and peace are ours only through the sacrifice of Jesus.

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Hebrews 9 ~ Eager Longing

I love spring cleaning!  Although throughout the year I try to maintain surface cleanliness, there is nothing like the clean feeling once a year from deep, thorough, every crack and crevice cleaning!  That is kind of how the old system of sacrifices were set up.  The priests offered daily sacrifices on behalf of the people, but one day a year, the priest prepared himself to go into the Holy of Holies to make atonement for all sin–especially unintentional ones.

Then along came Jesus!  He was a perfect–completely perfect in every way–priest who offered His own life once and for all as the perfect sacrifice to thoroughly clean away the sin of all mankind.  His death on the cross–the blood He shed–secured eternal redemption, purified us into our deepest conscience, forgave every sin, and provided us with an eternal inheritance!  Just like in an earthly will, the inheritance can only be passed on at death.  Jesus’ last will and testament was for us to inherit His righteousness upon His death.  His death brought us so many good things, and His life brings us even more!

If you were prosecuted for a crime and found guilty.  Then someone came along and took your punishment and paid your fines/fees.  Wouldn’t you want to know and see them?

If you were taken from your family and someone had to pay a ransom to your kidnappers to get you back, wouldn’t you anticipate when they came for you to take you safely home?

This chapter ends with this:  “So Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting FOR HIM.”

After all Jesus has done for me–the freedom and forgiveness He bought with His own blood–why would I long eagerly for anything/anyone else?  I need not long for the redemption of my mortal body; or long to be in a place where there is no sin, sadness and death; or yearn to see the loved ones who have gone on before me.  My eager longing should be to see the One who purchased my salvation face-to-face!

Lord, let all else melt away except the surpassing joy of seeing you someday–looking into your eyes, touching your nail-scarred hands, hearing your voice, and seeing you smile.

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