Revelation 5:1-14

Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?

Who stands at the center of the throne?

Who is the Lion of Judah?

The slain Lamb of God. 

This lenten season has been an opportunity for me to deepen my understanding of the sufferings of my Savior.  It has humbled me immensely.  It has changed my thinking.  And it has led to more worship of Christ in my daily life. 

I have listened as He wrestled with His call, and I have witnessed the horror of His humiliation.  I have felt the pang of betrayal and found myself among those who wouldn’t believe Him.

More than anything else, I have observed how my King reigns.  His ways are higher than mine (Isaiah 55:9).  He did not begin His reign after the resurrection.  He has always reigned with the Father, and He reigned throughout His suffering ( Rev. 13:8 ). 

That is what John shows us in his Revelation.  Jesus reigned when He wore a crown of thorns, and He was a warrior King as He hung there on the cross, for He won the battle over sin and death. 

“We are not to regard the cross as defeat and the resurrection as victory.  Rather, the cross was the victory won, and the resurrection the victory endorsed, proclaimed and demonstrated … For it was by his death, and not by his resurrection, that our sins were dealt with … we must insist that Christ’s work of sin-bearing was finished on the cross, that the victory over the devil, sin and death was won there, and that what the resurrection did was to vindicate the Jesus whom men had rejected, to declare with power that he is the Son of God, and publicly to confirm that his sin-bearing death had been effective for the forgiveness of sins.” (The Cross of Christ, 231,233)

It is the cross that identifies us as Christians.  It is in the shadow of its horror that we find peace and security.  It is under its flow of blood that we find mercy and wholeness.  It is nailed to it that we find our God. 

There is no one like Him.

And it is important for us to remember that the lives of Easter people are more often filled with Good Fridays while they walk this earth. 

He set us an example that we should be like Him, and that means He has not called us to escape the suffering present in this world (John 13:15).  But our comfort is this: our Savior was tempted in every way and endured what we, in our flesh, could not.  As I was so poignantly reminded at church last night, He cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  And He did it, so that God might never leave us or forsake us.  He is not absent from our struggle, nor are our struggles foreign to Him.  We serve a God who chose to suffer for us and with us, and so we reign with Him in the midst of our own pain and tribulation.

He is more beautiful to me than He was at the start of this journey.  The scars in His hands are more precious to me. 

My prayer is that I will spend the rest of my days at the foot of His cross, for it is there that I find my King enthroned.

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ.  He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.  And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.  (Colossians 2:13-15)