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Service Archives > Bloodline: Tracing God's Rescue Mission from Eden to Eternity > The Lion Is the Lamb

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The Lion Is the Lamb
Revelation 1;5
Skip Heitzig

Jump To: Worship | Message

Revelation 1 (NKJV™)
1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants--things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John,
2 who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw.
3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.
4 John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne,
5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood,
6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
7 Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.
8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End," says the Lord, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."
9 I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet,
11 saying, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last," and, "What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea."
12 Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands,
13 and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band.
14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire;
15 His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters;
16 He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.
17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, "Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last.
18 "I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.
19 "Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this.
20 "The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.

New King James Version®, Copyright © 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Bloodline: Tracing God's Rescue Mission from Eden to Eternity

There's something marvelous about restored objects. People admire antique cars and collectors love to restore vintage vehicles, spending time and talent on them to reveal their original artistry. In a similar way, God loves to restore people. He takes broken people who have been damaged by sin and restores them fully—redemption through Jesus' resurrection. In this Easter message, Pastor Skip teaches on this monumental event, where people and angels sing songs of redemption for a risen King.

The redemption of mankind was planned before the foundations of the world. But the path through Scripture that leads from Eden to eternity is not as straightforward as following a highway. It's more like following a thread in a tapestry and the thread is crimson-red, having been stained with blood. In this series, Skip Heitzig leads you on a unique journey through the Bible along the path of redemption.Buy series

Study Guide

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Connect Recap Notes: April 21, 2019
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "The Lion Is the Lamb"
Text: Revelation 1 and 5

Path

There's something marvelous about restored vintage objects. Collectors respect antique cars and love to restore vintage vehicles, spending time and talent on them so they may be enjoyed by all. In a similar way, God loves to restore people. The Lord takes broken people who have been damaged by sin and restores them fully—redemption through Jesus' resurrection. Because Jesus lives, so can we!
  1. The Scene (Revelation 1:10-18; 5:1-4)
  2. The Savior (Revelation 5:5-7)
  3. III. The Song (Revelation 5:8-10)
Points

The Scene
  • The book of Revelation is a collection of prophecies concerning the future—the end of the age and a glimpse of heaven. John, one of Jesus' inner circle, recorded Revelation on the island of Patmos, a Roman penal colony. John saw a vision of the future which revealed God's glorious second coming—His final victory.
  • John used many symbols to illustrate the prophecies in Revelation: lampstands, trumpets, bowls, creatures, etc. The greatest symbol used is the lion and the lamb. The contrast of lion and lamb shows two sides of Jesus' character: meek and mighty. In this passage, we see the Lion—a living, resurrected Christ—glorified and magnified.
  • The scroll holds the fate of the earth and must be opened by the only one qualified to open it. The scroll—the title deed to the earth—belongs to God; He created the world and gave it as a gift to humans. God allowed Satan to invade the earth, infecting it with sin through man's fall and taking ownership of the earth (see 2 Corinthians 4:4), causing creation to groan (see Romans 8:14-22).
  • "Who is worthy to break the seals on this scroll and open it?" (Revelation 5:2, nlt). Only Jesus has the divine right, authority, and power to rule the earth (see Revelation 5:5).
The Savior
  • The phrase "Lion of Judah" is used to refer to Jesus twenty-four times in Revelation. It was first introduced in Genesis 49:8-10, in reference to Jacob, the future ruler of the tribe of Judah.
  • The Lord promised King David that his offspring would rule forever. The apostle John knew the prophecies, so he understood the connection to Christ, the Messiah. John saw the Lion of Judah, the heir to David's throne, mighty and enthroned. John also saw the Lamb, the final sacrifice. Lambs were associated with Passover, a sign of violence and suffering, a sacrifice for sin.
  • John saw Jesus with His scars; in heaven, Jesus may still have scars and marks of the cross. But instead of reminders of humiliation, they'll be badges of honor, showing what He did to save the world.
  • Notice the words "now standing" (v. 6, nlt). The Lamb is not lying down; He is alive, ready for action. Jesus has the meekness of a lamb, but the majesty of a lion. These two characteristics qualify Him as the liberator and restorer of the world.
  • In His first coming, Jesus came as a lamb; in His second coming, He'll come as a lion. Jesus rescued the world as a lamb and will rule it as a lion.
The Song
  • In verse 8, we read Jesus "took the scroll." This is the greatest act in history, an act of God's sovereignty over creation. Everything John was describing culminated in this moment. Jesus took the title deed of what was lost and took control, bringing everlasting change.
  • "And they sang" (v. 9). Worship is the only earthly activity that will continue in heaven. Every Christian should be a singing son or daughter. Easter is the moment Christians should break forth in song; it's the pinnacle of our Christian priorities.
  • God is not impressed with secret admirers, so practice praise now—give Christ the glory.
  • Jesus is worthy to rule the world as the Lion because He died for the world as the Lamb (v. 9). It is the shed blood of Christ that affords transformation.
  • The Bible mentions blood 424 times; blood symbolizes human life, and human life was infected with sin. When Jesus shed His blood, He took the sin of the world on Himself so that all who believe are restored in their relationship with the Father. Either humanity pays for sin, or someone pays the price for us—something only Jesus could do.
  • John summarized the immensity of the moment with one sentence: "Behold…a Lamb" (v. 6).
  • The Old Testament asked the question: "Where is the lamb?" (Genesis 22:6); the New Testament answered the question: "Behold! The Lamb…" (John 1:29). In heaven, God's children will sing "worthy is the Lamb" (Revelation 5:12).
  • Jesus made a great decision:  "No one takes [My life] from Me, but I lay it down" (John 10:18). Because Jesus laid His life down for us, we must make a decision: whether or not to follow the Lamb—the one who will provide a divine blood transfusion, bringing you from the darkness to the light.
Practice

Connect Up: The resurrection of Jesus is the cornerstone of the Christian faith. As we've seen throughout the Bloodline series, it was not an isolated or unknown event, but was promised and prophesied. Discuss how Jesus fulfilled the following Old Testament prophesies.
  • Psalm 22
  • Psalm 41:9
  • Isaiah 53:3
  • Hosea 6:1-2
  • Zechariah 11:12
Connect In: For the church, the resurrection is the reason we exist. Because He is risen, we the redeemed live in and through Him. There are too many passages in the New Testament regarding the resurrection to list. A record is found here: https://carm.org/death-and-resurrection-passages-new-testament. As an example of the New Testament references, use the book of Ephesians to discuss the importance of the resurrection to the Bible and church. Look up the following to discuss:
  • Ephesians 1:7—Redeemed through blood
  • Ephesians 1:20—Jesus exalted
  • Ephesians 2:6—Raised up to sit with Christ
  • Ephesians 2:13—Made right by the blood of Christ
  • Ephesians 2:16—Reconciled by the cross
  • Ephesians 5:25—Christ gave Himself for the Church
Connect Out: It was the resurrection that caused the Church to evangelize, telling the world about Christ rising from the dead. In Acts 2 we see a model of the church (v. 42: apostles' doctrine, fellowship, communion, and prayer); we are also given a model for evangelism (see Acts 2:36-41). This model includes several aspects: 
  • Preaching: proclaiming the crucified and risen Lord (v. 36)
  • Piqued attention: the people were "cut to the heart" (v. 37)
  • Penitence: the people repented (v. 38)
  • Public testimony: a call for baptism, a public statement of faith (v. 38)
  • Promise: once they believe, the person is given the gift of the Holy Spirit—they were saved (vv. 38-39)
The result of Peter's evangelism is that many were saved (Acts 2:40-42). Discuss how these elements are needed in our proclamation of Christ's death and resurrection. Take time to pray for those that gave their life to Christ this past weekend and pray for more people to repent and believe.

Detailed Notes

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"The Lion Is the Lamb"
Revelation 1; 5
  1. Introduction
    1. The restoration of something that has been cast aside and fallen into disrepair makes us appreciate the devotion, patience, and craftsmanship of the restorer
      1. God loves to restore people
      2. God didn't make people perfect to populate heaven; He restores broken people who have been damaged by sin
      3. Restoration is based on redemption, and redemption is tied to resurrection
    2. The book of Revelation is a series of visions given to John the apostle on Patmos
      1. Patmos was used by the Romans as a penal colony
      2. John was a prisoner on Patmos in his mid-90s
    3. God gave John a vision of the resurrected Christ and a glimpse of heaven
      1. Revelation contains a lot of symbols and metaphors
      2. The most important of these are the Lion and the Lamb—both referring to Jesus Christ
      3. John was part of Jesus' inner circle; he was "the disciple whom Jesus loved" (see John 20:2)
  2. The Scene (Revelation 1:10-18; 5:1-4)
    1. Revelation was written around AD 95—at least sixty years after Jesus' ascension
      1. John and the other disciples were close to Jesus during the three years He was on earth
      2. The characteristics of Jesus that John saw in this vision were much different from those John remembered from Jesus' time with the disciples
        1. John's vision was of mighty and riled Jesus, not meek and mild Jesus
        2. This is not a vision of the crucified Christ; this is a vision of the glorified, dignified, magnified, resurrected Christ
        3. This was not a lamb, but a roaring lion
    2. What is the scroll?
      1. It involves the future and the fate of planet earth; the scroll is the title deed to earth
        1. It belongs to God because He is the Creator
        2. It was given to humans as a stewardship
        3. It was forfeited to Satan in the garden by Adam through sin (see 2 Corinthians 4:4)
        4. Romans 8:22
      2. Everyone erupted in praise when the scroll was opened
      3. In ancient Judaism, the sign of a forfeited inheritance was a sealed scroll; this scroll had been sealed seven times
    3. A search was made for a liberator, someone qualified to take back the inheritance
      1. Who is worthy?
      2. Is there anyone who has the divine right, authority, and power to rule the earth?
        1. There are many who have been willing to rule:
          1. Alexander the Great
          2. Nebuchadnezzar
          3. Many of the Caesars, etc.
        2. The question isn't who wants to rule the earth, but who is worthy to rule the earth
  3. The Savior (Revelation 5:5-7)
    1. Twenty-four different titles are given to Jesus from Revelation 1-5
      1. The Lion of Judah (see Genesis 49:9)
      2. The heir to David's throne
        1. God promised David that one of his offspring would rule the world
        2. 2 Samuel 7:13
    2. John, being Jewish, knew the prophecies and promises
      1. The elder told John to look and see the Lion, so John expected to see the glorified Christ from his vision in chapter 1
      2. John saw a Lamb
      3. The Lamb represented sacrifice; lambs were used at Passover to protect a household
      4. It is possible that when we see Jesus, even in His glorified state, He may still bear the wounds of His crucifixion; John saw a Lamb that had been killed (see v. 6)
      5. For Jesus, those wounds meant that He could buy us back to God, and He's willing to bear those scars forever
    3. The Lamb that had been killed was now standing (see v. 6)
      1. He's standing, ready for action
      2. He has the meekness of a lamb, but the strength, steadiness, and might of a lion
    4. Because He came first as a Lamb, He's qualified to come again as a Lion; He rescued the world as a Lamb, therefore He will rule the world as a Lion
  4. The Song (Revelation 5:8-10)
    1. After the scroll was opened, praise erupted
    2. Everything John was describing in this vision had been building up to this moment
      1. The Lamb stepped forward and took the scroll
      2. This is the greatest act in history—the pinnacle of Revelation, the greatest event in the history of mankind
      3. Jesus will take the lost inheritance—the title deed of the earth—and bring about real, lasting change at His second coming
    3. When the Lamb takes the scroll, that will be the answer to all the prayers of all God's people through all the ages: "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10, KJV)
      1. The response to this was "a new song" (v. 9)
      2. Every Christian ought to be a singing Christian, because we have reason to sing
      3. Worship is the only earthly activity that we will still be doing in heaven
    4. The song is about His sacrifice and His worthiness
      1. Jesus is worthy to rule as the Lion of Judah because He died as the Lamb of God
      2. The power is in the shed blood of Jesus Christ—without which there is no forgiveness of sins
      3. The Bible mentions the blood of Christ 424 times
  5. Conclusion
    1. Mankind has a huge problem
      1. We can't be close to God just because we want to—we are impeded by sin; sin separates us from God
      2. "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23)
    2. Either you pay for your sin yourself, or someone else pays for it for you
      1. Jesus stepped in as the Lamb to pay for our sins
      2. Jesus comes as the Lion to rule and reign over your life
      3. Jesus ruling over your life is better than you ruling over your own life; He'll do a much better job than you can do with you
    3. The Bible in its entirety can be summed up with one sentence: "Behold the Lamb" (see John 1:29)
      1. The Old Testament asked the question "Where is the Lamb?"
      2. The New Testament answered the question: "Behold the Lamb"
      3. In heaven, we'll be singing, "Worthy is the Lamb"
Cross references: Genesis 49:9; 2 Samuel 7:13; Matthew 6:10; John 1:29; 20:2; Romans 3:23; 8:22; 2 Corinthians 4:4

Topic: salvation

Keywords: blood, earth, forgiveness, inheritance, lamb, lion, redemption, restoration, scars, sin

Transcript

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The Lion Is the Lamb - Revelation 1 ; 5 - Skip Heitzig

[MUSIC PLAYING]

[APPLAUSE]

Why is it that you look fresher and happier today? Could it be Easter? I don't know why. You just look really good. Well, some of you don't. No, I'm just kidding. You all look really good. Anyway, happy Resurrection day.

We're going to be in the Book of Revelation, if you turn there this morning. And just a word about this video series that we did with this motorcycle. So this motorcycle in the video is a 1974 Norton Commando 850 cc motorcycle.

So I got it when it did not look like this. It looked like that. So that's it in its original state. Then I blew the head gasket on it, leaked oil, and then tore it apart, and made it this blood red motorcycle that you see today. So it's been completely restored.

Now, there's something about taking something old, classic, vintage and restoring it that I think makes it better than getting a brand new vehicle. There's something cool about an old restored any kind of a vehicle.

So here's an example. Let's say you have a new Chevy Cruze, or Bolt, or a Silverado truck. All those are great Chevy products. So you're in your new Camaro. And you're up-- pull up to a stoplight. You're digging your new Camaro.

But then up pulls next to you a 1957 Chevy Bel Air convertible, Harbor blue, white walls. It's like, OK. There's a whole new level of respect. Am I right?

There's just something about taking something old. And it could it be discarded, it's that old. But somebody has the vision, patience, longsuffering to make that a restored vehicle.

That's what God does. God is into restoring human beings. You know, he could make perfect people and then populate heaven with perfect people. But he doesn't do that. He takes people who are dinged up, who've been beat up, bruised by time, damaged by sin, who have made wrong choices, who are weathered and scratched up. And he does a full resto job on them-- complete restoration.

How does he do that? Well, restoration is based on redemption. And redemption is tied to Resurrection. And we've been doing this series called Bloodline, where we've traced that whole theme of the blood of Christ, predicted, anticipated, from Genesis, through Exodus, through Joshua, all the way now through the Book of Revelation.

We're going to be in Revelation chapter 1 in a moment and then chapter 5 as well. But today, basically, we're going to see a vision of heaven, where people and angels are gathered around singing a song of redemption and restoration when the risen Christ comes to take control.

And if you know anything about the Book of Revelation, you know that it's a series of visions given to a man named John, who was one of the original apostles. John was on an island called Patmos, about 25 miles off the coast of Asia Minor. It was a prison colony at the time by Rome.

And John, when he wrote this book, was in his mid 90s. He's an old gentleman. He has been a prisoner for a while. Now he is exiled as a prisoner. And he is all alone.

And there, all alone, he gets the Book of Revelation. Nice gift, right? He gets this series of visions that is a prophecy of the future but also a peek into heaven itself.

And there are lots of symbols in this book. We're not going to today decipher them. But there are lamp stands, and trumpets, and bowls, and beasts, and creatures, and a very special metaphor-- two of them. We're going to notice a lamb and a lion, a lamb and a lion that are exactly the same individual. The lamb is the lion. The lion is the lamb.

Now, a little bit about John. John was originally a fisherman. He lived on a little lake up in the northern part of Israel known as Galilee. But John was part of an inner circle with Jesus. He was part of the Twelve Apostles, but he was also this little inner circle you'd often see Peter, James, and John hanging out together, doing things together, with Jesus on special occasions.

So we understand that John had a very close intimate personal relationship with Jesus Christ in the flesh as he was here on the earth. And by the way, John is called the disciple whom Jesus loved. What's funny about that is he wrote that.

It wasn't like Matthew or Peter goes, yeah, that's the guy Jesus loved. John writes, I'm the disciple Jesus loved. And I really like that.

Because I think you can write that. I think you can say that about yourself. You're the one Jesus loves with a very unique kind of love just for you. I believe that.

Now, John is at the end of his life. As I mentioned, he's in his 90s. So you've just got to picture-- he's an old man, completely isolated from society. He has no group of Christians around him. He might even feel depressed or dejected. And just, you might say, in the nick of time, Jesus shows himself to John in a series of these visions.

Now, I'm drawing this out because I have a hunch I may be speaking to some here who are feeling isolated, alienated. You're feeling alone. Maybe even you're feeling depression.

According to the Center for Disease Control, 9% of Americans have feelings of hopelessness, despondency, and guilt that generate a diagnosis of depression, and some severely. If that's you, I want you to know I believe you could be on the verge of a breakthrough. It could be that you are on the verge of one of the greatest victories of your life, where you, in this moment of alienation and isolation, might have something revealed to you from God-- hopefully, today.

So we're going to look at Revelation 1 and 5. But what I'm going to do is I'm reading it out of a different version than what I normally do, a little easier version, the New Living Translation. So we're going to throw the text up on the screen.

But I want to show you the scene, first of all, kind of outline what's happening. And then from the scene, we're going to notice the Savior who steps up to do something very important. And then finally, the song that breaks out in heaven because of it.

Let's begin in chapter 1 of Revelation verse 10, and we'll put the text up. "It was the Lord's day, and I was worshipping in this Spirit. Suddenly, I heard a loud voice behind me, a voice that sounded like a trumpet blast.

When I turned to see who was speaking to me, I saw seven gold lampstands. And standing in the middle of the lampstands was the Son of Man. He was wearing a long robe with a gold sash across his chest.

His head and his hair were white like wool, as white as snow. And his eyes were bright like flames of fire. His feet were as bright as bronze refined in a furnace, and his voice thundered like mighty ocean waves.

He held seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp two-edged sword came from his mouth. And his face was as bright as the sun in all its brilliance. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead.

But he laid his right hand on me and he said, 'Don't be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the living one who died. Look, I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave. '"

The year is around AD 95. What that means is John had not been around Jesus physically in the flesh, he had not seen him, for over 60 years. Now, for 3 and 1/2 years, Jesus, when he was on the Earth, hung out, as I mentioned, with the apostles. John was among that group.

So John knew the tone of Jesus' voice. He was familiar with facial expressions Jesus made. He knew the way Jesus walked and perhaps his unique laugh. All of those John knew. He remembered. Maybe he's thinking back thinking, oh, how I miss those days of being with Jesus personally and seeing him up close.

But then one day, in this state on Patmos, he hears a voice. And he looks back, and he sees somebody. And it's Jesus. But it's a very different Jesus than what he remembered, as you can tell by this description here.

He's not like that children's poem, "Gentle Jesus, meek and mild." This is like giant Jesus, mighty and riled. It's like, whoa, listen to that. Look how bright. But it was Jesus.

And what he was seeing is not a crucified Christ. He's seeing a magnified Christ. He's seeing a deified, glorified Christ. This was the resurrected Jesus, not as a lamb, so to speak, but as a lion roaring. His voice was like mighty waves of the water, it says.

Well, the vision continues. That's chapter 1. By the time we get to chapter 5, John is transported in his vision to the courts of heaven itself. Verse 1, Revelation 5. Again, we'll put it up. "And I saw a scroll in the right hand of the one who was sitting on the throne. There was writing on the inside and the outside of the scroll, and it was sealed with seven seals.

And I saw a strong angel, who shouted with a loud voice, 'Who is worthy to break the seals on this scroll and unroll it?' But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll and read it. And then I wept because no one could be found who was worthy to open the scroll and read it."

John is taken to heaven. There is God, seated on his throne. But what's weird is all of heaven-- all the creatures, all the people, all the angels, even God himself-- they're all focused on one thing, one document. One scroll gets all of their attention. They're looking at it. They're wondering. They're asking about the scroll and who's worthy.

And so we ask ourselves, well, what is this scroll? And because it involves the fate and the future of the earth, and because praise breaks out in heaven when finally, the right one comes forward to take and open the scroll, we can surmise that what we're dealing with, what we're looking at, what we're considering, is nothing less than the title deed to the earth.

The earth-- it was God's by creation. God gave it to mankind in a stewardship. But mankind abdicated the rule and the right of the earth over to Satan in the garden when Adam disobeyed God and obeyed Satan. Adam acted sort of like the Benedict Arnold of the universe.

And that's why in 2 Corinthians chapter 4, Satan is called the "God of this world." You go, wait a minute. I thought God was the God of this world. Yes, it's his by creation. But I think if you look around the world, you would see it sure looks like it's crazy around here. And we're waiting for some culmination, some redemption.

Yes, God created it. Adam gave it away. And Satan is called the God of this world. So Paul writes in the book of Romans, all of creation groans and travails together until now, awaiting that final and full redemption.

According to the customs of Judaism, ancient Judaism, the sign of a forfeited inheritance was a sealed scroll. And the fact that this scroll is sealed seven times indicates those are the encumbrances against the property. Those are the liens on the property.

So a search is made in heaven, in earth, under the earth, for a liberator, somebody qualified to take back the inheritance. Notice the question, "Who is worthy to break the seals on the scroll and unroll it?" In other words, who is there that has the divine right, the authority, the power, to rule planet Earth at this point?

Now, that's a good question. Because there have been many people who were willing to do it, people like Alexander the Great. He wanted to take over the world. In fact, he thought he did.

Many of the Caesars wanted to rule the world. Adolf Hitler, I think, had his desire to be the ruler of the world. But the question isn't who wants it. The question is, who's worthy? Who's worthy?

And when the question is asked, you will notice that there's silence. And then it says in verse 3, "But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll and read it." No angels, no archangels, not Abraham, not Isaac, not Jacob, not Joseph, not David, not Solomon, not Elijah, not Daniel, not Peter, not Paul. No angel, no human, no devil, no politician-- and I notice people kind of confuse those last two, not knowing which is which sometimes. But no one's worthy. No answer.

So John has a response to that in verse 4. "Then I wept." And it's a very strong emotional reaction in the original language. It means I sobbed in abundance. I sobbed in abundance. I audibly wept in abundance.

You go, John, why? Why are you so sad over this? He is struck by the utter hopelessness that Earth is destined to remain in this condition because there is no liberator, which means we're doomed. So he started weeping. So that's the scene.

Next, a hero enters the story. The Savior comes in. Look at the next verse, verse 5. "But one of the twenty-four elders said to me, 'Stop weeping!' " A very sensitive guy-- what are you crying about?

And then he said, "Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the heir to David's throne, has conquered. He is worthy to open the scroll and break the seven seals." Now, we all know who this is, right? Who is this? This is Jesus. And these are titles for Jesus Christ.

By the way, a little FYI. Jesus goes by 24 different titles between chapter 1, verse 1 of Revelation to chapter 5. 24 different titles. Now, here's a few we're familiar with. He's called the Lion of Judah, the Lion of the tribe of Judah. That's a throwback to Genesis 49.

The fourth son of Jacob was a guy named Judah. The prediction his dad made is that from Judah, from the tribe, this lion-like tribe will come a ruler, who will be the liberator, the Messiah, for the Jewish nation and for the world. That's Genesis 49.

He's also called here the heir to David's throne. Some of you remember that God made a promise to David that he would have offspring who would one day rule the world and it would be an everlasting kingdom. Well, John was Jewish. He knew his Bible.

He knew Genesis 49. He knew 2 Samuel, chapter 7. So to hear these metaphors-- Lion of the tribe of Judah-- he goes, yep, Jesus. Heir to David's throne. Yep, that's Jesus. He knew that.

And so when they said, look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, he turns around and he expects to see a lion, right? If somebody says, look, a lion, you expect a lion.

If I said to my grandkids if we're driving down the street, hey, look, kids, a train, they would look out the window and expect to see a train. Not a bunny rabbit, not Santa Claus, though they would prefer that, probably. They would expect to see a train.

So the elder goes, look, there's the Lion of the tribe of Judah. So he turns around, and he doesn't see a lion. Didn't see a ruler. Doesn't see a king. He sees a lamb. I looked and I saw a lamb.

A lamb? Why a lamb? What can a lamb do? Lambs don't rule the world. Lambs don't scare people. Ever been scared of a lamb? Ever seen a sign, "Beware of Lamb"? No. The movie wasn't Lambo, right? It was Rambo.

And by the way, the word "lamb" here refers to a pet lamb. It's a rare word used only two times in the entire New Testament, and it speaks of a cute little pet lamb. Now, here's the deal. And John would have known this. Remember, John was Jewish.

So every year at Passover, families were instructed to take a lamb four days before Passover, but not any lamb, a baby lamb, one year and younger, a cute, beautiful, flawless, perfect, without spot and blemished lamb, and take the lamb home for four days. And after four days, it would be killed.

You know what that meant? For four days, that little lamb became like the pet of the family. All the kids loved it, cuddled it, hugged it, pet it, named it, probably, only to see it ripped out of their home, have its throat slit and its blood shed to cover their sin because of that Passover.

So I looked and I saw a lamb, a pet lamb. But there's more. Not just a innocent pet beautiful lamb, but a lamb that had been killed, the text says. In other words, John looked and he saw this lamb that had signs of violence done to it, signs of suffering and bloodshed.

Look, the Lion of Judah. But I saw a lamb that had been killed. I believe that when you get to heaven, it's very possible that when you see Jesus, even in his glorified state, you're going to see marks of crucifixion on his body. You're going to see the wounds put in his hands, the wounds put in his feet, the wound from the spear in his side, and that he's going to have those marks of crucifixion-- a lamb that had been killed-- for all of eternity.

You say, oh, man, that's going to make me feel bad. No, it's going to make you feel good. Because Jesus will wear them forever, not as a shame, but as a sign, a badge, of honor.

Because with those wounds, he could welcome you into his kingdom, and you into his kingdom, and you into his kingdom. And he would gladly wear those and bear those forever as a reminder that what those wounds did is purchase you and bring you into God's kingdom. Amen.

[APPLAUSE]

There was a song put out a few years ago-- you remember it-- by Mercy Me. We love to sing it every now and then. The words go, "The nails in your hands, the nail in your feet, they tell me how much you love me." Do you remember that song? "The thorns on your brow, they tell me how you bore so much shame to love me."

But here's this part. "And when the heavens pass away, all your scars will still remain, and forever they will say how much you love me." I think you're going to see Jesus bearing those marks. John does. He looks to see a lion, but he sees a lamb. It had been killed.

But something odd about this. It looks like it had been killed but was now, verse 6 says, but was now standing. You know, that's interesting. This lamb, though obviously it had been tortured, and injured, and killed, was not slumped over, was not lying down, was not recumbent.

This lamb is now standing. He's alive. He's ready for action, still having the scars of deadly wounds, but resurrected, raised, from that. You might say he has the meekness of a lamb but the strength, majesty, and readiness of a lion.

In fact, it's those very wounds as a lamb that makes him qualified to come as a lion and rule and reign. He came the first time to rescue the world as a lamb. He'll come the second time to rule the world as a lion.

So the lamb is the lion. The lion is the lamb. Look, the lion. I saw a lamb. It's because they're one and the same. Two different features-- first coming lamb, second coming lion.

Well, when this happens, heaven can't contain themselves. It breaks out in song. Look at verse 8. "And as he took the scroll, the four living beings and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp, and they had gold bowls filled with incense-- the prayers of God's people!

And they sang a new song with these words. 'You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals and open it. For you were killed, and your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. And you have caused them to become God's kingdom and his priests. And they will reign on the Earth.' "

Everything so far that John is describing in these visions is leading up to this defining moment, this most important moment. It's all building up to this. You say, building up to what? When the lamb steps forward to take the scroll.

No one was there to take the scroll. John starts weeping. Then Jesus comes and he takes the scroll out of the hand. That is the greatest act in history. And that's what the Book of Revelation, the rest of it, will go on to describe, how Jesus is going to make better and fix all of the problems that planet Earth has created.

Now, when he does that, when he takes the scroll out of the right hand of God, that becomes the answer to all the prayers of all the saints through all the ages, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on Earth as it is in heaven." Ever prayed that before? Then you look at your watch and go, that hadn't happened yet.

Pray the next day the same prayer. It hadn't happened yet. I've been praying that prayer for decades. Hadn't happened yet. You're right. But it will.

It will happen when Jesus comes not as the lamb, but as the lion, the second time he takes the title deed of the Earth, opens it up, fixes what's broken. Nobody will have to vote him into office. He's just going to tell everybody, move over, let me show you how it's done.

[APPLAUSE]

Notice what it says in verse 9. And they-- what? And they sang. It says, then they sang a new song with these words. Do you know there's singing in heaven? You go, Skip, I know.

I know there's singing in heaven. I know that I'm going to be in heaven one day, and I'm going to hear all the angels singing. I've heard that. I'm going to be part of the audience, watching the angels sing.

No, no, no. You're the choir. You're going to be in heaven singing with them. And let me just say that if you don't have a good voice now, all those angels will help you out. You'll be fine.

[LAUGHTER]

But you're not going to be watching, you're going to be participating. And I believe every Christian should be a singing person, a singing Christian. Every Christian should be a singer.

[APPLAUSE]

You know why? You have something to sing about. Gosh, worldly people sing their dumb songs all the time. You see them bopping down the road, mouthing the words.

You've got something to sing about. You go, you've never heard my voice. You still have something to sing about, no matter how good or bad your voice might be.

And listen, worship singing is the one activity that we do on Earth that we will do also in heaven. There's a lot of things we do now we won't do in heaven. You're not going to evangelize somebody in heaven. You're not going to say, can I tell you about how to have a right relationship with God through Jesus Christ?

They're going to go, excuse me, this is heaven. I'm here. You don't need to do this. I got here already.

You won't need to evangelize. You won't need to disciple anybody on how to have a closer walk with the Lord. You won't have to pray over sick people. You won't do any of that in heaven. But you will sing in heaven.

[APPLAUSE]

All the singers are clapping right now. By the way, I found an article that said those who sing stay younger-looking. Now I just got all your attention.

[LAUGHTER]

What, what? How do you stay younger looking? Singers' muscles in their cheeks develop to the extent that they show less wrinkles than non singers, the article said.

Now, when you sing, sing like you mean it, not like, (SLOWLY, QUIETLY) I love you [MUMBLING UNINTELLIGIBLY].

[LAUGHTER]

[YAWNS]

Yeah, God gets really excited about that. Put some emotion, put some feeling into it. Now I know people are wired differently. People say, well, I'm not the emotional type. I'm not the kind of a person that is that expressive. OK, fine.

But what's interesting about what you just said is when you were on the golf course the other day and you hit that great drive, boy, you got emotional. Well, how did that happen? You got all emotional. You were jumping up and down and so excited about a stupid little white ball.

Some of you get so emotional when you see a puppy. You know, I've been to sporting events, and I've watched fanatics. Somebody gets a goal, somebody makes a touchdown, somebody puts a basket in, the crowd jumps up. They get all emotional.

I've been to concerts, and I've seen rock stars sing their familiar songs. And the crowd starts singing that song and swaying back and forth like it's a worship tune or something. Because for many of them, it is.

My point is pagans can be really good at showing emotion and getting excited. What's wrong with Christians doing it over the right reason, the most noble reason in the universe? And that is the risen Christ.

There's a church I read about in England. I've never seen this, but I read about this church in a town called Fairford, England. And the church has a little churchyard, you know, a cemetery where they bury people in that church. And they have a monument to a cat, which is odd, unless you're a cat lover, which I'm not. But anyway-- sorry, if you're a cat lover, pray for me.

[LAUGHTER]

There is a monument to a cat. And the story is this cat used to wander in during church and would stay there all day and would wander in, like, every day. So the people in town said, you know, this cat spends more time in this church than anybody in this town. So they made a monument to the worshipping cat.

And I read that, and I said, I'm not going to be outdone by a cat. And I don't think God is particularly excited about secret admirers. I think if you love him, tell him. Sing it to him. So because you're going to be singing in heaven, why not get some practice now?

OK, so notice the song, as we're bringing this to a close. What are they singing about? What's the subject of their song? They're singing about Jesus' worth, his supreme worth, and his sacrificial death.

Notice verse 9. Here's the words of the song. "For you are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals and open it. For you were killed." This is their song. This is their worship tune. "For you were killed, and your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe, and language, and people, and nation."

In other words, you are worthy to rule as lion because you came to die as a lamb. That's their song. And it's filled with his sacrificial death. If you want to sing anointed songs, put a lot of Jesus in there, and put the blood of Jesus in there.

I don't know why some churches are so afraid to talk about the cross and sing about the blood. They get all spooked about that. Listen, there's no anointing without it. There's no message without it. Without the shedding of blood, the Bible says, there is no remission of sin. It should be front and center.

In fact, the Bible mentions blood 424 times. 424 times the Bible mentions blood. Why so much? Why does it make such a big deal over blood?

Here's the deal once again. Mankind has a huge problem of getting together with God. You see, you and I can't just go hang out with God. You might say, I'm going to go to God my own way and just hang out with him. You're deluded. You're thinking you are, but you're not.

There's a big impediment between us and God. It's called sin. The Bible says, my arm is in short that it cannot save. My ears and heavy that it cannot hear. But your sins have separated between you and your God. So there's this big impediment called sin. So either you have to pay for that or somebody else pays for that.

The gospel says Jesus came to pay for that. If Jesus didn't pay for that for you, then you are left to pay for your sins on your own. That's why you could sum up the message of the whole Bible in one simple sentence, behold the lamb. It's all about Jesus.

What's the message of the Bible? Behold the lamb. In the Old Testament, the question is asked, where is the lamb? That's what Isaac asked his dad Abraham going up that mountain, we remember.

Here's the fire. Here's the wood. Where's the lamb? The New Testament answers the question. John the Baptist sees Jesus coming to the Jordan, points to him and says, behold the lamb. And then in heaven, Revelation 5, we're going to sing, worthy is the lamb.

There was a little boy who was told by his doctor that he could save his sister's life if he was willing to donate his blood. Come to find out his six-year-old sister was near death, and she had this disease from which that boy recovered two years earlier. Her only chance to live was to get a blood transfusion from somebody who had previously had and conquered that same disease. Since both of them had the same rare blood type, he was the best option.

So the doctor bent down and said to the little boy, Johnny, are you willing to give your blood for your sister Mary? And the boy hesitated a while. And then his lip started trembling, and he said, (TEARFULLY) sure. I'll give my blood. So he said, OK.

Both kids were wheeled into the operating room. Mary was pale and thin. John was healthy and robust. Neither spoke. But their eyes met. And when they did, Johnny looked at his sister and smiled. They were hooked up. And blood was siphoned into Mary's veins. And when it was, it's like could see new life come into her body.

When it was almost over, Johnny said to the doctor, doc, when do I die? It was then the doctor realized why the hesitation and why the trembling in Johnny's voice. Johnny had actually thought that in giving blood, he would have to give his life and that he would die in the process. And that brave little boy made the decision, I'm willing to do it for my sister.

Jesus made a decision with you in mind. He didn't get killed. Jesus said, nobody takes my life from me. I lay it down of myself. I have the power to both lay it down and take it up again. And he did both. He made the decision to lay it down, and then he made the decision to take it back up in Resurrection.

Well, you also must make your decision. If you have not had a divine blood transfusion yet, now is the perfect time. Would you bow your head with me and let's pray together as we close.

Our Father, we have over the past several weeks briefly touched on a series of Bible texts that have pointed the way to the cross unmistakably, very clearly. From Genesis, through Exodus, to Joshua, Isaiah, the Psalms, the gospel records, the life of Jesus on Good Friday, all the way to the Book of Revelation. From Eden to eternity, we see that the cross was not plan B. It was not an other option. It was not an oops moment.

It was always your plan to redeem by sending your Son, the perfect one, who lived the perfect life that nobody else could ever do, and then taking our place and letting all of our sin and the punishment for it fall on Him. As Isaiah said, you laid the iniquity of us all on Him, the Lamb who would become the Lion.

He's qualified to be the Lion because he was first the Lamb. He will rule as Lion because he rescued us as a Lamb. He took that punishment.

It's the same gospel message with another metaphor told a different way. It's the same message. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever would believe in him would not perish, but would have everlasting life."

But today on Easter, Father, it's especially poignant to us because this is the day we celebrate you taking your life up again, resurrecting from the dead, thus conquering death. Thus when you made the promise that we would live forever, now there's some bank behind it.

Now it makes sense. If you can conquer your death, you'll be able to conquer our death. We'll be able to be in your presence. We look forward to being with you forever.

We're not afraid of death. It's lost its sting. It has no victory over us. It's simply a graduation for us into your presence.

Father, I want to pray for those who are with us today on this Easter at this service. Some grew up religiously in a spiritually oriented home. They've been told by parents and grandparents about God, about Jesus. They've gone to church.

But they haven't taken a personal step, sort of crossing the line, saying, I'm going to make it personal for me. It's real for me. I'm going to receive Jesus, not as the Savior, but my Savior. Not as the Lord, but as my Lord. I'm going to turn my life over to Him.

Maybe you've never done that. Or maybe you remember some experience you had in younger years. But today, you're not walking with Jesus, you're not obeying Him.

Some of you are just kind of at your low moment. You're wondering, is there anything else in life than what I've already experienced? Could there ever be some meaningful experience in this life? The answer is yes, yes, yes.

It is found in a person and only one person, and that is Jesus Christ himself. He will come into your life. He will change you. And He will rule and reign if you give Him your life and give Him the ability to do that.

But you have to ask Him. You have to be willing to invite Him. And if you're willing to invite Him, maybe for the first time, or you need to come back home to Him, with our heads bowed and eyes closed-- I'm going to keep mine open.

But would you raise your hand up if you're willing to say yes to the Savior this morning? Raise it up and just keep it up for a moment so I can see your hands. God bless you in the front, in the middle, in the middle, in the back, on the side.

Right here in the middle on my left, thank you for that. Raise your hand up. Just say yes. I'd love to pray for you. I want to know who I'm praying for. Right over here, family room. God bless you, ma'am. Anyone else? Right here.

Father, just thank you for honest people raising their hands saying, I need Him. You've made it so easy. As complicated as it might seem for some-- we look at this elaborate plan that you created to redeem people-- the easy part is our part. We have to trust.

All we have to do is believe. All we have to do is commit. All we have to do is receive your gift. Thank you for that.

Lord, I pray for everyone who's raised that hand around this room. I pray that the life change would be real to them, palpable to them, that their friends will see it, their family will see it, they'll experience a new level of peace and love, lightness, and forgiveness because of Jesus and this gospel message. It's in His name we pray, amen.

Can I have y'all stand up? We've got plenty of time. As we sing this final song, I'm going to ask those of you who raised your hands up to now get up from where you're standing, find the nearest aisle, and come stand right up here in the front, where on this Easter Sunday, I'm about to lead you in a prayer to receive Christ as Savior and Lord.

[APPLAUSE]

If you raised your hand in the front, in the side, the middle, the back, the balcony, the family room-- outside, a pastor will bring you inside. We just want to wait for you, because we want to celebrate with you.

And this is the day you'll always remember. This is the day I made a break from my past and I stepped into a brand new future. This is the day God put hope in my heart, hope for change.

(SINGING) And when the heavens--

Oh, good.

(SINGING) pass away--

Awesome, you guys.

(SINGING) All your scars will still remain. And forever--

Give it just another couple of moments. We've got time, even if I didn't see your hand or you didn't raise it, but you know that you know that you should be here right now, giving your life to Christ and not just waiting it out out there.

You know it. You've yearned for it. You've longed for it. You've hoped for it. You want to see change in your life. You want to know that you're forgiven before God, that you're right with God.

There's no better feeling in the world than knowing I'm right with God. You can know that. You can have assurance of that. We'll give you another couple of moments to make your way forward.

(SINGING) The nails in your hands, the nail in your feet, they tell me how much you love me. The thorns in your brow, they tell me how you bore so much shame to love me. And when the heavens pass away, all your scars will still remain. And forever they will say how much you love me. Oh.

Hey, those of you who have come forward, I'm going to lead you now in a prayer, OK? So this is where we interact. I'm going to pray out loud. I'm going to ask you to say this prayer out loud.

OK, say it after me. Say it from your heart, mean it, as you talk to God. This is just you saying, God, take over, OK?

Let's pray. Say Lord, I give you my life. I know that I'm a sinner. Please forgive me. I believe in Jesus. I believe He came from heaven to earth. I believe He died on a cross, that He shed his blood for me.

And I believe He rose from the dead and that He's alive right now. I turn from my past. I repent of my sin. I turn my life over to you to be my Savior and Lord. In Jesus' name, amen.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

We hope you enjoyed this message from Skip Heitzig of Calvary Church. How will you put the truths that you learned into action in your life? Let us know. Email us at mystory@calvarynm.church. And just a reminder, you can support this ministry with a financial gift at calvarynm.church/give.

Thank you for joining us for this teaching from Calvary Church.

Additional Messages in this Series

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Date Title   Watch Listen Notes Share Save Buy
3/3/2019
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The Cure for the Curse
Genesis 3:15
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
Welcome to this new series Bloodline, leading up to Easter. There is a scarlet thread woven throughout the fabric of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation that anticipates Jesus’ sacrifice at the cross. We Christians have become far too familiar with the idea that Jesus died for our sins so the impact is largely lost. In the next few weeks we will consider how God’s rescue mission is revealed from Eden to eternity. Today let’s peek at the first hint of the gospel.
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3/10/2019
completed
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On a Hill Far Away!
Genesis 22
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
Abraham and his son Isaac’s journey to Mount Moriah marked the most difficult time in their lives to that point. An unusual command from God would both challenge their faith and solidify their confidence in God’s promises. What did it all mean? Why was God requiring this? And how does this sacrifice foreshadow another sacrifice that would come much later on? As we continue to follow the bloodline from Eden to eternity, we pause to consider this story in four phases.
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3/17/2019
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Getting Passed Over
Exodus 12
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
No one ever likes being disregarded, ignored, or overlooked by people. Such rejection cowers our spirit and burdens our sensitivities. But being “passed over” in judgment is a welcome exception. When God established the yearly memorial of the Passover, He wanted His people to remember that they could’ve died were it not for His powerful intervention. This familiar story tells us four poignant truths.
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3/24/2019
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From House of Shame to Hall of Fame
Joshua 2
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
Rahab was an Old Testament harlot who ended up being listed in both the genealogy of Jesus Christ and in the great chapter of faith in the New Testament. The reason? An authentic faith that changed her radically. Let’s consider her portrait in a four-sided frame that shows her journey from prostitute to princess as she signifies her faith by hanging a scarlet cord outside her home.
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4/7/2019
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God’s Astonishing Servant
Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
Isaiah has been called the messianic prophet because of the number of his predictions about the coming Messiah. Of all the Old Testament writings that foretell Christ, Isaiah 52 and 53 are the pinnacle. They capture the person and work of Christ and atoning sacrifice with precision and clarity like no other text. Seven hundred years before Jesus was born, His death was announced and detailed. Here Isaiah calls us to look on this servant and be astonished for six reasons.
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4/14/2019
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Cross Culture
Psalm 22
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
We have already noticed how much the Bible speaks about blood and points to the cross of Christ. The apostle Paul even said, “God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Galatians 6:14). It’s as though the cross of Jesus Christ defines the very culture of Christianity itself. In Psalm 22, David points forward to Messiah’s great suffering and widespread rejection—and then His ultimate accomplishment.
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There are 6 additional messages in this series.