Conquering Lion, Slain Lamb

Message by Jason Storbakken

Bulletin 4.1.18 Easter

Easter Sunday

Revelation 5

Sermon notes:

John the Revelator ascends to the heavenly realm. He is raptured into the very presence and glory of God. He is in God’s throne room, the holy of holies, but it also seems like a celestial battle room. The angels and elders and heavenly beings are strategizing how to ultimately and finally overthrow the reign of Satan.

These are the final days.

A scroll must be opened to usher in these final days. A mighty angels proclaims, Who is worthy to open the scroll and breaks its seals? But no one is strong enough. Then an elder says, Look the Conquering Lion from the tribe of Judah! He can open the scroll and its seven seals!

They need someone mighty, triumphant, strong to open this seal. Even the mighty angel can’t open it. John turns to look expecting to see this Conquering Lion – regal and golden and glorious – but instead he looks and sees a slain and bloody lamb sitting on the throne.

And around this lamb are angels singing, Holy, Holy, Holy!

The Words says that the lamb has 7 eyes and 7 horns. Seven represents perfection or completeness or wholeness.

Eyes are a symbol of seeing or knowing. This lamb has perfect and complete knowing. He is omniscient and all-knowing.

The lamb has 7 horns; horns are a symbol of power. This lamb is omnipotent, completely powerful.

This is the Lamb – meek, but mighty. (Meekness, by definition, means strength under control.) It is the Lamb who opens the holy scroll, who sends the adversary on the run, who frightens dragons and destroys devils. It is this lamb who in ultimate days casts the adversary, the satan, and even hell itself into a fire where it is annihilated.

The Lamb is exalted, but still wears the wounds of trauma – pierced and suffering even in the heavenly realm. The Lamb, unblemished and innocent, so too exalts those who are deemed insignificant, persecuted, weak and lost.

As we return from our metaphysical romp through Revelation and the celestial warring and strategies of the Conquering Lion, we remember that the resurrection occurred 2,000 years ago. How do we apply these heavenly teachings to our earthly lives in a world where wars continue to rage and armies march; tens of thousands of homeless struggle in our city every day; the earth is exploited; the sick suffer; police go free while shooting black and brown bodies;. And this all continues even after the resurrection; Palestinians in the Holy Land are killed for protesting; and our world weeps for hope.

So, what happens when Easter happens? Easter, the Resurrection, can be that moment when we all become like the women two thousand years ago who crawled out to care for the body, to pay respect to the one who was killed for speaking truth, who said repent of all the lies and hatred, bigotry and death. Who risked their lives to show their love for one who was love enfleshed.

Resurrection is that moment when we all become like the women who ventured out in defiance of death to honor truth, love, and life, who found that even in the midst of death new life is possible.

Oh! May we find that Resurrection hope. And may our Resurrection light be a guidestar to justice, a bloomery in which all empire and army and police find their weapons smelted to plough shares, a world where the oppressed are liberated, the poor receive Good News, and hope if found.

Oh! May Resurrection happen, and may everything change.