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The Lamb Revelation 21:22-23 Wednesday, 6 Jul 2011 Mennonite Church Canada Assembly.

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Presentation on theme: "The Lamb Revelation 21:22-23 Wednesday, 6 Jul 2011 Mennonite Church Canada Assembly."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Lamb Revelation 21:22-23 Wednesday, 6 Jul 2011 Mennonite Church Canada Assembly

2 Revelation 21: :5-8, It is done! This is at least the 3 rd or 4 th time that we come to the end in Revelation. Two of the earliest commentators, Victorinus of Pettau (late 200s CE ) and Tyconius (late 300s CE ), read Revelation as a series of repeated visions rather than one narrative in succession. (The end comes several times; recapitulation.) 21:9-14, Another description of the holy city Jerusalem, the bride, the wife of the Lamb, coming down out of heaven. The gates are counted and its glories described in terms of precious stones, jewels. 21:15-21, The city gates are described and its walls are measured. (Measurement symbolizes protection and preservation.) The city is 1,500 miles long, wide, and highbigger than Europe and just as high! In context, John saw it filling the whole earth!

3 Gods Glory Fills the Earth Psalm Blessed be his glorious name forever; may his glory fill the whole earth. Amen and Amen. Habakkuk 2 14 But the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the L ORD, as the waters cover the sea.

4 Revelation 21: I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. 23 And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb.

5 Visions of a new Jerusalem with a new Temple were common in Jewish apocalypses In the OT visions of Jerusalem renewed, the Temple often stood as the centerpiece of the vision (Ezek 40–47; Isa 2:1-5; Mic 4:1-4; 1 Enoch 90:28-29; 11QTemple; New Jerusalem). 7 They shall be for me a people and I will be with them for ever; and I shall dwell 8 with them for ever and always. I shall sanctify my temple with my glory, for I shall make my glory reside 9 over it until the day of creation, when I shall create my temple, 10 establishing it for myself for all days, according to the covenant which I made with Jacob at Bethel (11Q19.7b-10).

6 No Temple in This City! Revelations novel contribution: This city needs no Temple! Why? Because God and the Lamb will be there (in person!)

7 Revelation

8 Revelation of Jesus Christ Whatever else we remember about the book of Revelation, we should remember first and foremost that it is a revelation of Jesus Christ. Jesus is referred to as Lamb 28 times in the book, … more than any other title, including Jesus or Christ or Jesus Christ or Son of Man or Son of God or messiah … The Lamb is the christological placeholder in this book. Why?

9 There Are a Lot of Inappropriate Lamb Images

10 … Even in the Religious World

11 Especially if you picture it with seven horns and seven eyes!

12 Introduction of the Lamb The Lamb is first introduced in Revelation 5:6. Despite the fact that Lamb occurs in half of Revelations chapters, and Christ is referred to as Lamb 28x in the book, the author has purposefully avoided calling Jesus Lamb up to that point in order to introduce the Lamb in a dramatic way.

13 Revelation 5:1-6 1 Then I saw in the right hand of the one seated on the throne a scroll written on the inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals; 2 and I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals? 3 And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it. 4 And I began to weep bitterly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. 5 Then one of the elders said to me, Do not weep. See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals. 6 Then I saw between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders … a Lamb standing as if it had been slaughtered, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.

14 From Lion to Lamb? M. Eugene Boring rightly calls this one of the most mind-wrenching and theologically pregnant transformations of imagery in literature. David Barr says, A more complete reversal of value would be hard to imagine. In Donald Guthries words, there could hardly be a more striking or unexpected contrast. So again … why lamb?

15 Lambs in the Old Testament From what image or type of OT lamb does the symbolism come? The Lambs of the Sacrificial System? The Passover Lamb of Exodus? The Suffering Servant Song of Isaiah 53:7? The Vulnerable Lambs of eschatological peace?

16 Lambs of the Sacrificial System There is good reason to think of the lambs of the sacrificial system: This lamb was slain or slaughtered (5:6, 9, 12; 13:8). His death is expiatory: there are at least three references in Revelation to what the Lambs blood has accomplished. There is an altar at the scene (6:9) and bowls of incense (5:8). When the Temple was still standing, one lamb was sacrificed every morning and another one every evening (Tamid).

17 Lambs of the Sacrificial System But there are also problems with this association: The lamb was not the animal most naturally associated with sacrifice for sin. For that the bull would do better. The terms used are not those associated with expiatory sacrifice, but with violence: sphazō = slay = slaughter = kill, not sacrifice. The word is used equally for those who are killed (slaughtered) for their faith. The word for lamb in Revelation (arnion) is associated in the OT with vulnerability. The most common Greek word for lamb in the OT is amnos, which is the word usually associated with the sacrificial system. Christ is portrayed as the first martyr in Revelation, one who went the distance in his faithfulnessa model for the believers in Asia to emulatehis death a model as well.

18 The Passover Lamb of Exodus There is reason to think about the Passover lamb: Paul called Jesus our Passover victim in 1 Cor 5:7. The crucifixion of Jesus is associated with the killing of the Passover victim in all four gospels. Revelation 15–16 is saturated in allusions to the Exodus.

19 The Passover Lamb of Exodus But there are problems with this association as well: Although there are many allusions to the Exodus in Revelation, nowhere is the Passover itself mentioned. Although the Passover victim was often a lamb, it was not necessarily so; it could as well be a young goat (kid). Arnion is never used of the Passover victim.

20 Isaiah 53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a sheep that is led to the slaughter, and like a lamb that before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.

21 Isaiah 53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a sheep that is led to the slaughter, and like a lamb (amnos) that before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.

22 Isaiah 53:7 Although he is compared with a lamb in passing, the Suffering Servant is nowhere called a lamb. Furthermore, the Suffering Servant theme is not taken up or developed anywhere in Revelation, which we would expect if the author had wanted us to think of Isaiah 53:7 in his use of the christological title, Lamb.

23 The Vulnerable Lambs of Eschatological Peace Isa 11:6 The wolf shall live with the lamb (arēn), the leopard shall lie down with the kid [or goat], the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. Isa 65:25 The wolf and the lamb (arēn) shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox; … They shall not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain, says the L ORD.

24 The Vulnerable Lambs of Eschatological Peace The only word for Lamb in Revelation is arnion, the diminutive of arēn, both of which symbolize vulnerability in the OT. Luke 10:1-3 After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. 2 He said to them, … 3 Behold, I am sending you out like lambs (arēn) into the midst of wolves (Lk 10:1-3). John 21:15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon son of John, do you love me more than these? He said to him, Yes, Lord; you know that I love you. Jesus said to him, Feed my lambs (arnion).

25 The Vulnerable but Conquering Lamb of Revelation Yet Revelations Lamb is anything but vulnerable; it is a living, powerful, conquering Lamb! The fact that it was slaughtered seems to destroy any sense of eschatological peace. Every time arnion appears in the Septuagint (Greek OT), it refers to a symbolic lamb and it communicates defenselessness (cf. Jer 11:19; 50:45; Ps 114:4, 6; and PsSol 8:23; cf. also Isa 40:11 Aquila ). Revelations Lamb conquers by faithfully submitting to deaths violence, then rising from the dead.

26 Conquer … Like the Lamb! The conclusion to the letters to the seven churches: 3 21 To the one who conquers I will give a place with me on my throne, just as I myself conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. How did the Lamb conquer? 5 5 See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.

27 Conquer … Like the Lamb! 6 Then I saw between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders a Lamb standing as if it had been slaughtered …. 7 He went and took the scroll from the right hand of the one who was seated on the throne. 8 When he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell before the Lamb, …. 9 They sing a new song: You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slaughtered and by your blood you ransomed for God saints from every tribe and language and people and nation;

28 Follow the Lamb wherever He Goes 13 9 Let anyone who has an ear listen: 10 If you are to be taken captive, into captivity you go; if you kill with the sword, with the sword you must be killed. Here is a call for the endurance (hypomonē, consistent nonviolent resistance) and faith of the saints.

29 Revelations Ethical Message The ethical message of Revelation is this: Worship God and the Lamb. Resist the temptation to compromise your allegiance and to worship the emperor. Maintain your faithful witness to God and to the Lamb. You may die for doing so … but your death will really be a victory. Dont worry; God remains on the Throne and is in control, working Gods purpose out. In the end, we will enjoy the very presence of God and of the Lamb.

30 Revelation 21: I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. 23 And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb.


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