Sermon 2095. The Lamb In Glory
DELIVERED ON LORD'S DAY MORNING, JULY 14, 1889,
BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.
"And I beheld and, lo, in the midst of the Throne and of the four living creatures and in the midst of the elders, stood aLamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him that sat upon the Throne." Revelation 5:6, 7.
THE Apostle John had long known the Lord Jesus as the Lamb. That was his first view of Him, when the Baptist, pointing toJesus, said, "Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world." He had been very familiar with this blessedPersonage, having often laid his head upon His bosom, feeling that this tender goodness of the Savior proved Him to be innature gentle as a lamb. He had beheld Him when He was brought "as a lamb to the slaughter," so that the idea was indeliblyfixed upon his mind that Jesus, the Christ, was the Lamb of God.
John knew that He was the appointed Sacrifice, set forth in the morning and evening lamb and in the Paschal Lamb, by whoseblood Israel was redeemed from death. In his last days the beloved disciple was to see this same Christ, under the same figureof a lamb, as the great revealer of secrets, the expounder of the mind of God, the taker of the sealed book and the looserof the seals which bound up the mysterious purposes of God towards the children of men. I pray that we may have on this eartha clear and constant sight of the sin-bearing Lamb and then, in yonder world of glory, we shall behold Him in the midst ofthe Throne and the living creatures and the elders.
The appearance of this Lamb at the particular moment described by John was exceedingly suitable. Our Lord usually appearswhen all other hope disappears. Concerning the winepress of wrath, it is He who says, "I have trod the winepress alone andof the people there was none with Me." In the instance before us, the strong angel had proclaimed with a loud voice, "Whois worthy to open the book and to loose the seals thereof?" And there was no response from Heaven, or earth, or Hell. No manwas able to open the book, neither to look therein.
The Divine decrees must remain forever sealed in mystery unless the once slain Mediator shall take them from the hand of Godand open them to the sons of men. When no one could do this, John wept much. At that grave moment the Lamb appeared. Old MasterTrapp says, "Christ is good at a dead lift," and it is so. When there is utter failure everywhere else, then in Him is ourhelp found. If there could have been found another bearer of sin, would the Father have given His Only-Begotten to die? Hadany other been able to unfold the secret designs of God, would he not have appeared at the angel's challenge?
But He that came to take away the sin of the world now appears to take away the seals which bind up the eternal purposes.O Lamb of God, You are able to do what none beside may venture to attempt! You come forth when no one else is to be found.Remember, next time you are in trouble, that when no man can comfort and no man can save, you may expect the Lord, the eversympathetic Lamb of God, to appear on your behalf.
Before the Lamb appeared, while as yet no one was found worthy to look upon that book which was held in the hand of Him thatsits on the throne, John wept much. By weeping eyes the Lamb of God is best seen. Certain ministers of this age, who makeso little of the doctrine of substitutionary sacrifice, would have been of another mind if they had known more contritionof heart and exercise of soul. Eyes washed by repentance are best able to see those blessed Truths of God which shine forthfrom our incarnate God, the bearer of our sins. Free Grace and dying love are most appreciated by the mourners in Zion.
If tears are good for the eyes, the Lord send us to be weepers and lead us round by Bochim to Bethel. I have heard the oldproverb, "There is no going to Heaven but by the Weeping Cross." And there seems no way of even seeing Heaven and the HeavenlyOne, except by eyes that have wept. Weeping makes the eyes quick to see if there is any hope. And while
it dims them to all false confidences, it makes them sensitive to the faintest beam of Divine light. "They looked unto Himand were lightened, and their faces were not ashamed." Those who have laid eternal matters to heart so much as to weep overtheir own need and that of their fellow men, shall be the first to see in the Lamb of God the answer to their desires.
Yet observe, that even in this case human instrumentality was permitted, for it is written, "One of the elders said unto me,Weep not." John the Apostle was greater than an elder. Among them that are born of women, in the Church of God we put nonebefore John, who leaned his head upon his Master's bosom. And yet a mere elder of the Church reproves and instructs the belovedApostle! He cheers him with the news that the Lion of the tribe of Judah had prevailed to open the book and to loose the sevenseals.
The greatest man in the Church may be under obligations to the least-a preacher may be taught by a convert-an elder may beinstructed by a child. Oh that we might be always willing to learn-to learn from anyone, however low! Assuredly, we shallbe teachable if we have the tenderness of heart which shows itself in weeping. This will make our souls like waxen tablets,whereon the finger of Divine Truth may readily inscribe its teaching. God grant us this preparation of heart!
May we come in a teachable spirit to the texts and may the Lord open our eyes to see and learn with John! It is no small favorthat we have the record of the vision. Does not the Lord intend us to be partakers in it? The vision is that of a Lamb, aLamb that is to open the book of God's secret purposes and loose the seals thereof. The teaching of the passage is that theLord Jesus, in His sacrificial Character, is the most prominent Object in the heavenly world. So far from substitution beingdone with and laid aside as a temporary expedient, it remains the object of universal wonder and adoration.
He that became a Lamb that He might take away the sin of the world, is not ashamed of His humiliation but still manifestsit to adoring myriads and is, for that very reason, the very Object of their enthusiastic worship. They worship the Lamb evenas they worship Him that sits upon the Throne. And they say, "Worthy is the Lamb," because He was slain and redeemed His peopleby His blood. His atoning sacrifice is the great reason for their deepest reverence and their highest adoration. Some dareto say that the life of Jesus should alone be preached and that no prominence should be given to His death. We are not oftheir religion. I am not ashamed of preaching Christ Jesus in His death, as the sacrifice for sin.
On the contrary, I can boldly say, "God forbid that I should glory, save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ." We do notso believe the doctrine of Atonement as to leave it in the dark as a second-rate article of faith. But we hold it to be thefirst and foremost teaching of inspiration, the greatest well of the Believer's comfort, the highest hill of God's glory.As our Lord's sacrificial Character is in Heaven most prominent, so would we make it most conspicuous among men. Jesus isto be declared as the Sin Bearer, and then men will believe and live. May God the Holy Spirit help us in our attempt thismorning!
I. Jesus in Heaven appears in His sacrificial Character. And I would have you note that THIS CHARACTER IS ENHANCED BY OTHERCONSPICUOUS POINTS. Its glory is not diminished but enhanced, by all the rest of our Lord's Character-the attributes, achievementsand offices of our Lord all concentrate their glory in His sacrificial Character and all unite in making it a theme for lovingwonder.
We read that he is the Lion of the tribe of Judah, by which is signified the dignity of His office as King and the majestyof His Person, as Lord. The lion is at home in fight and "the Lord is a man of war-the Lord is His name." Like a lion, Heis courageous. Though He is like a lamb for tenderness, yet not in timidity. He is terrible as a lion-"who shall rouse Himup?" If any come into conflict with Him, let them beware-for as He is courageous, so is He full of force and altogether irresistiblein might.
He has the lion's heart and the lion's strength. And He comes forth conquering and to conquer. This it is that makes it themore wonderful that He should become a lamb-
"A lowly man before His foes, A weary man and full of woes."
It is wonderful that He should yield Himself up to the indignities of the Cross, to be mocked with a crown of thorns by thesoldiers and to be spit upon by subjects. O wonder, wonder, wonder, that the Lion of Judah, the offshoot of David's royalhouse, should become as a lamb led forth to the slaughter!
Further, it is clear that He is a champion-"The Lion of the tribe of Judah has prevailed." What was asked for was worthiness,not only in the sense of holiness but in the sense of valor. One is reminded of a legend of the Crusades. A goodly castleand estate awaited the coming of the lawful heir-he, and he only could sound the horn which hung at the castle gate. But hewho could make it yield a blast would be one who had slain a heap of heathens in the fight and had come home victorious frommany a bloody fray.
So here-no man on earth or in Heaven had valor and renown enough to be worthy to take the mystic roll out of the hand of theEternal. Our Champion was worthy. What battles He had fought! What feats of prowess He had performed! He had overthrown sin.He had met face to face the Prince of Darkness and had overcome him in the wilderness. Yes, He had conquered death, had beardedthat lion in his den. He had entered the dungeon of the sepulcher and had torn its bars away. Thus He was worthy, in the senseof valor, on returning from the far country to be owned as the Father's glorious Son, Heaven's hero-and so to take the bookand loose the seals.
The brilliance of His victories does not diminish our delight in Him as the Lamb. Far otherwise, for He won these triumphsas a Lamb, by gentleness and suffering and sacrifice. He won His battles by a meekness and patience never before known. Themore of a conqueror He is, the more astounding is it that He should win by humiliation and death. O Beloved, never toleratelow thoughts of Christ! Think of Him more and more, as did the blessed Virgin, when she sang, "My soul does magnify the Lord."Make your thoughts of Him great. Magnify your God and Savior, and then add to your reverent thoughts the reflection that stillHe looks like a lamb that has been slain. His prowess and his lion-like qualities do but set forth more vividly the tender,lowly, condescending relationship in which He stands to us as the Lamb of our redemption.
In this wonderful vision we see Jesus as the familiar of God. He it was who, without hesitation, advanced to the Throne andtook the book out of the right hand of Him that sat upon it. He was at home there-He counted it not robbery to be equal withGod. He is "very God of very God," to be extolled with equal honor with that which is given unto the Lord God Almighty. Headvances to the Throne, He takes the book, He communes with Jehovah, He accepts the Divine challenge of love and unseals themysterious purposes of His glorious Father.
To Him there is no danger in a close approach to the infinite glory, for that glory is His own. Now, it is He who thus stoodon familiar terms with God, who also stood in our place and bore for us the penalty of sin. He who is greater than the greatestand higher than the highest, became lower than the lowest, that He might save to the uttermost them that come to God by Him.He who is Lord of All, stooped under all the load and burden of sin. Fall down on your faces and worship the Lamb. For thoughHe became obedient unto death, He is God over all, blessed forever, the Beloved of the Father.
We observe, in addition to all this, that He is the Prophet of God. He it was that had the seven eyes to see all things anddiscern all mysteries. He it is that opened the seven seals and thus unfolded the parts of the Book one after another- notmerely that they might be read but might be actually fulfilled. And yet He had been our Substitute. Jesus explains everything-theLamb is the open sesame of every secret. Nothing was ever a secret to Him. He foresaw His own sufferings. They came not uponHim as a surprise-
"This was compassion like a God,
That when the Savior knew
The price of pardon was His blood,
His pity never withdrew."
Since then He has not been ignorant of our unworthiness, or of the treachery of our hearts. He knows all about us. He knowswhat we cost Him and He knows how ill we have repaid Him. With all that knowledge of God and of man, He is not ashamed tocall us Brothers and Sisters. Nor does He reject that truth, so simple, yet so full of hope to us, that He is our sacrificeand our Substitute. "He who unveils the eternal will of the Highest, is the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world."
Our Lord always was, and is now acknowledged, to be Lord and God. All the Church does worship Him. All the myriads of angelscry aloud in praises unto Him. And to Him every creature bows, of things in Heaven and things on earth and things that areunder the earth. When you call Him King of kings and Lord of lords, lofty as these titles are, they fall far below His Gloryand majesty. If we all stood up with all the millions of the human race and with one voice
lifted up a shout of praise to Him, loud as the noise of many waters and as great thunders, yet would our highest honors scarcelyreach the lowest step of His all-glorious Throne.
Yet, in the glory of His Deity, He disdains not to appear as the Lamb that has been slain. This still is His chosen Character.I have heard of a great warrior, that on the anniversary of his most renowned victory, he would always put on the coat inwhich he fought the fight, adorned, as it was, with marks of shot. I understand his choice. Our Lord today and every day,wears still the human flesh in which He overthrew our enemies and He appears as one that has but newly died-since by deathHe overcame Satan. Always and forever, He is the Lamb. Even as God's Prophet and Revealer, He remains the Lamb.
When you shall see Him at last, you shall say, as John did, "I beheld and, lo, in the midst of the Throne and of the fourliving creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain." Write, then, the passion of your Lordupon the tablets of your hearts and let none erase the treasured memory. Think of Him mainly and chiefly as the Sacrificefor sin. Set the atonement in the midst of your minds and let it tinge and color all your thoughts and beliefs. Jesus, bleedingand dying in your place, must be to you as the sun in your sky.
II. In the second place, let us note that, IN THIS CHARACTER, JESUS IS THE CENTER OF ALL. "In the midst of the Throne andof the four living creatures and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain."
The Lamb is the center of the wonderful circle which makes up the fellowship of Heaven. From Him, as a standpoint, all thingsare seen in their places. Looking up at the planets from this earth, which is one of them, it is difficult to comprehend theirmotions-progressive, retrograde, or standing still. But the angel in the sun sees all the planets marching in due course andcircling about the center of their system. Standing where you please upon this earth and within human range of opinion, youcannot see all things aright, nor understand them till you come to Jesus-and then you see all things from the center.
The man who knows the incarnate God, slain for human sins, stands in the center of the Truth of God. Now he sees God in Hisplace, man in his place, angels in their place, lost souls in their place and the saved ones in their place. Know Him whomto know is life eternal and you are in the position of vantage from which you may rightly judge of all things. The properbearings and relationships of this to that and that to the next and so on, can only be ascertained by a firm and full beliefin Jesus Christ as the atoning Sacrifice-
"Till God in human flesh I see,
My thoughts no comfort find.
The Holy, Just and sacred Three,
Are terrors to my mind.
But if Immanuel's face appears,
My hope, my joy begins-
His name forbids my slavish fears,
His Grace removes my sins."
In Christ you are in the right position to understand the past, the present, and the future. The deep mysteries of eternityand even the secret of the Lord are all with you when once you are with Jesus. Think of this and make the Lamb your centralthought-the soul of your soul, the heart of your heart's best life.
The Lamb's being in the midst, signifies also, that in Him they all meet in one. I would speak cautiously but I venture tosay that Christ is the summing up of all existence. Do you seek the Godhead? There it is. Do you seek manhood? There it is.Do you wish the spiritual? There it is in His human soul. Do you desire the material? There it is in His human body. Our Lordhas, as it were, gathered up the ends of all things and has bound them into one. You cannot conceive what God is. But Christis God. If you dive down with materialism which by many is regarded as the drag and millstone of the soul, yet in Jesus youfind materialism, refined and elevated and brought into union with the Divine nature.
In Jesus all lines meet and from Him they radiate to all the points of being. Would you meet God? Go to Christ. Would yoube in fellowship with all Believers? Go to Christ. Would you feel tenderness towards all that God has made? Go to Christ.For, "of Him and through Him and to Him are all things." What a Lord is ours! What a glorious being is the Lamb. For it isonly as the Lamb that this is true of Him! View Him only as God and there is no such meeting with man. View Him as being onlyman and then He is far from the center-but behold Him as God and Man and the Lamb of God-and then you see in Him the placeof rest for all things.
Being in the center, to Him they all look. Can you think for a moment how the Lord God looks upon His Only-Begotten? WhenJehovah looks on Jesus, it is with an altogether indescribable delight. He says, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am wellpleased." When He thinks of the passion through which He passed and the death which He accomplished at Jerusalem, all theinfinite heart of God flows high and strong towards His Best-Beloved. He has rest in His Son as He has nowhere else. His delightis in Jesus. Indeed, He has so much delight in Him that for His sake He takes delight in His people.
As the Father's eyes are always on Jesus, so are the eyes of the living creatures and the four-and-twenty elders which representthe Church in its Divine life and the Church in its human life. All who have been washed in His blood perpetually contemplateHis beauties. What is there in Heaven which can compare with the adorable Person of Him by whom they were redeemed from amongmen? All angels look that way, also, waiting His august commands. Are they not all ministering spirits, whom He sends forthto minister to His people?
All the forces of nature are waiting at the call of Jesus. All the powers of Providence look to Him for direction. He is thefocus of all attention, the center of all observation throughout the plains of Heaven. This, remember, is as "the Lamb." Notas King or Prophet chiefly, but pre-eminently as "the Lamb," is Jesus the center of all reverence and love and thought, inthe glory-land above.
Once more-let me say of the Lamb in the center, that all seem to rally round Him as a guard around a king. It is for the Lambthat the Father acts-He glorifies His Son. The Holy Spirit also glorifies Christ. All the Divine purposes run that way. Thechief work of God is to make Jesus the First-born among many Brethren. This is the model to which the Creator works in fashioningthe vessels of Divine Grace-He has made Jesus Alpha and Omega-the beginning and the end. All things ordained of the Fatherwork towards Christ as their center.
And so stand all the redeemed and all the angels waiting about the Lord, as swelling His Glory and manifesting His praise.If anything could enter the minds of heavenly beings that would contribute to lift Jesus higher, it would be their Heavento speed throughout space to carry it out. He dwells as a King in His central pavilion and this is the joy of the host-thatthe King is in the midst of them.
Beloved, is it so? Is Jesus the center of the whole heavenly family? Shall He not be the center of our Church life? Will wenot think most of Him-more of Him than of Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas-or any party leaders that would divide us? Christ isthe Center. Not this form of doctrine nor that mode of ordinance-but the Lamb, alone. Shall we not always delight in Him,and watch to see how we can magnify His glorious name? Shall He not be also the center of our ministry? What shall we preachabout but Christ! Take that subject away from me and I am finished. These many years I have preached nothing else but thatdear name and if that is to be dishonored, all my spiritual wealth is gone-I have no bread for the hungry, nor water for thefaint.
After all these years my speech has become like the harp of Anacreon, which would resound love alone. He wished to sing ofAtreus and of Cadmon but his harp resounded love alone. It is so with my ministry-with Christ and Christ alone am I at home.Progressive theology? No string of my soul will vibrate to its touch. New divinity? Evolution? Modern thought? My harp issilent to these strange fingers. But to Christ, and Christ alone, it answers with all the music of which it is capable. Beloved,is it so with you? In teaching your children. In your life at home, in your dealing with the world- is Jesus the center ofyour aim and labor?
Does His love fill your heart? In the old days of Napoleon, a soldier was wounded by a bullet and the doctor probed deep tofind it. The man cried out, "Doctor, mind what you are at! A little deeper and you will touch the Emperor." The Emperor wason that soldier's heart. Truly, if they search deep into our life they will find Christ. Queen Mary said that when she diedthey would find the name of Calais cut upon her heart. For she grieved over the loss of the last British possession in France.
We have not lost our Calais but hold still our treasure. For Christ is ours. We have no other name engraved on our heart butthat of Jesus. Truly can we say-
"Happy if with my last breath I may but gasp His name; Preach Him to all and cry in death,
Behold, behold the Lamb!'"
III. Thirdly, our Lord is seen in Heaven as the Lamb slain and IN THIS CHARACTER HE EXHIBITS PECULIAR MARKS. None of thosemarks derogate from His Glory as the sacrifice for sin. But they tend to instruct us therein.
Note well the words-"Stood a Lamb as it had been slain." "Stood." Here is the posture of life. "As it had been slain." Hereis the memorial of death. Our view of Jesus should be twofold. We should see His death and His life-we shall never receivea whole Christ in any other way. If you only see Him on the Cross, you behold the power of His death. But He is not now uponthe Cross. He is risen, He forever lives to make intercession for us and we need to know the power of His life. We see Himas a lamb-"as it had been slain." But we worship Him as one that "lives forever and ever."
Carry these two things with you as one-a slain Christ, a living Christ. I notice that feeling and teaching in the Church oscillatesbetween these two, whereas it should always comprehend them both. The Romish Church continually gives us a baby Christ, carriedby His mother. Or a dead Christ, on the Cross. Go where we may, these images are thrust upon us. Apart from the sin of imageworship, the thing set forth is not the whole of our Lord.
On the other hand, we have a school around us who endeavor to put the Cross out of sight and they give us only a living Christ,such as He is. To them Jesus is only an example and teacher. As a true and proper expiatory Substitute they will not havehim. BUT WE WILL. We adore the Crucified One upon the Throne of God. We believe in Him as bleeding and pleading-we see Himslain and behold Him reign. Both of these are our joy-neither one more than the other but each in its own place. Thus, asyou look at the Lamb, you begin to sing, "You are He that lives and were dead and are alive forever more." The mark of ourSavior is life through death and death slain by death.
Note, next, another singular combination in the Lamb. He is called, "a little lamb." For the diminutive is used in the Greek.But yet how great He is! In Jesus, as a Lamb, we see great tenderness and exceeding familiarity with His people. He is notthe object of dread. There is about Him nothing like, "Stand off, for I am too holy to be approached." A lamb is the mostapproachable of beings. Yet there is about the little Lamb an exceeding majesty. The elders no sooner saw Him than they felldown before Him. They adored Him and cried with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb."
Every creature worshipped Him, saying, "Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power be unto the Lamb." He is so great that theHeaven of heavens cannot contain Him. Yet He becomes so little that He dwells in humble hearts. He is so glorious that theseraphim veiled their faces in His Presence-yet He is so condescending as to become bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh!What a wonderful combination of mercy and majesty, grace and glory! Never divide what God has joined together-do not speakof our Lord Jesus Christ as some do-with an irreverent, unctuous familiarity.
But, at the same time, do not think of Him as of some great Lord for whom we must feel a slavish dread. Jesus is your next-of-kin,a Brother born for adversity and yet He is your God and Lord. Let love and awe keep the watches of your soul!
Further, let us look at the peculiar marks of Him and we see that He has seven horns and seven eyes. His power is equal toHis vigilance. And these are equal to all the emergencies brought about by the opening of the seven seals of the Book of Providence.When plagues break forth, who is to defend us? Behold the seven horns. If the unexpected occurs, who is to forewarn us? Beholdthe seven eyes.
Every now and then some foolish person or other brings out a pamphlet stuffed with horrors which are going to happen in ayear or two. The whole of it is about as valuable as the Norwood Gypsy's Book of Fate, which you can buy for two-pence. Butstill, if it were all true that these prophecy-mongers tell us, we are not afraid. For the Lamb has seven horns and will meetevery difficulty by His own power, having already foreseen it by His own wisdom. The Lamb is the answer to the enigma of Providence.Providence is a riddle but Jesus explains it all.
During the first centuries, the Church of God was given up to martyrdom-every possible torment and torture was exercised uponthe followers of Christ-what could be God's meaning in all this? What but the glory of the Lamb? And now, today, the Lordseems to leave His Church to wander into all kinds of errors-false doctrines are, in some quarters, fearfully paramount. Whatdoes this mean? I do not know. But the Lamb knows, for He sees with seven eyes. As a Lamb-as our Savior, God and Man-He understandsall and has the clues of all labyrinths in His hands. He has power to meet every difficulty and wisdom to see through everyembarrassment. We should cast out fear and give ourselves wholly up to worship.
The Lamb also works to perfection in nature and in Providence. For with Him are "the seven Spirits of God sent forth intoall the earth." This refers not merely to the saving power of the Spirit which is sent forth unto the elect, but to thosepowers and forces which operate upon all the earth. The power of gravitation, the energy of life, the mystic force of electricityand the like, are all forms of the power of God. A Law of nature is nothing but our observation of the usual way in whichGod operates in the world. A Law in itself has no power-Law is but the usual course of God's action.
All the Godhead's omnipotence dwells in the Lamb-He is the Lord God Almighty. We cannot put the atonement into a secondaryplace. For our atoning Sacrifice has all the seven Spirits of God. He is able to save to the uttermost them that come untoGod by Him. Let us come to God by Him. He has power to cope with the future, whatever it may be. Let us secure our souls againstall dangers, committing ourselves to His keeping.
How I wish I had power to set the Lord before you this morning evidently Glorified. But I fail utterly. My talk is like holdinga candle to the sun. I am grateful that my Lord does not snuff me out-perhaps my candle may show some prisoner to the doorand when he has once passed it, he will behold the Sun in its strength. Glory be to Him who is so great, so glorious, andyet still the Lamb slain for sinners-whose wounds in effect continually bleed our life-whose finished work is the perpetualsource of all our safety and our joy.
IV. I close with my fourth point, which is this-Jesus appears eternally as a Lamb and IN THIS CHARACTER HE IS UNIVERSALLYADORED.
Before He opened one of the seals this worship commenced. When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the four-and-twentyelders fell down before the Lamb and sung a new song, saying, "You are worthy to take the book." While yet the book is closed,we worship Him. We trust Him where we cannot trace Him. Before He begins His work as the revealing Mediator, the Church adoresHim for His work as a Sacrifice. Jesus our Lord is worshipped not so much for what benefits He will confer as for Himself.
As the Lamb slain He is the object of heavenly reverence. Many will reverence Him, I do not doubt, when He comes in His secondAdvent, in the glory of the Father. Every knee will bow before Him, even of apostates and infidels, when they shall see Himtake to Himself His great power and reign. But that is not the worship which He accepts, nor that which proves the offererto be saved. You must worship Him as a Sacrifice and adore Him in His lowly character, as the "despised and rejected of men."You must reverence Him while others ridicule Him, trust His blood while others turn from it with disdain and so be with Himin His humiliation. Accept Him as your Substitute, trust in Him as having made atonement for you. For in Heaven they stillworship Him as the Lamb.
That adoration begins with the Church of God. The Church of God, in all its phases, adores the Lamb. If you view the Churchof God as a Divine creation, the embodiment of the Spirit of God, then the living creatures fall down before the Lamb. NoGod-begotten life is too high to refuse obeisance to the Lamb of God. Look at the Church on its human side and you see thefour-and-twenty elders falling down and worshipping, having every one harps and vials. Well may the whole company of redeemedmen worship the Mediator, since in Him our manhood is greatly exalted!
Was ever our nature so exalted as it is now that Christ is made Head over all things to His Church? Now are we nearest toGod, for between man and God no creature intervenes. Immanuel-God-With-Us-has joined us in one. Man is next to the Deity,with Jesus only in between, not to divide, but to unite. The Lord in Christ Jesus has made us to have dominion over all theworks of His hands. He has put all things under our feet-all sheep and oxen-yes, the fowl of the air and fish of the sea andwhatsoever passes through the paths of the sea. O Lord our God, how excellent is Your name in all the earth!
The Lord is adored by the Church in all forms of worship. They worship Him in prayer. For the vials full of sweet odors arethe prayers of saints. They worship Him with a new song and with the postures of lowliest reverence. But, beloved, the Lambis not only worshipped by the Church-He is worshipped by angels. What a wonderful gathering together of certain legions ofthe Lord's hosts we have before us in this chapter! "Ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands." Their companycannot be imagined in human arithmetic. With perfect unanimity they unite in the hallowed worship, shouting together, "Worthyis the Lamb that was slain."
No, it is not merely the Church and angels, but all creation, east, west, north, south, highest, lowest-all adore Him. Alllife, all space, all time, immensity, eternity-all these become one mouth for song and all the song is, "Worthy is the Lamb."
Now, then, dear Friends, if this is so, shall we ever allow anybody in our presence to lower the dignity of Christ, our Sacrifice?["No."] A friend says, emphatically, No. And we must say, No. As with a voice of thunder, we say-No-to all attempts to lowerthe supreme glories of the Lamb. We cannot have it-our loyalty to Him will not permit it. Besides, no man will willingly losehis all. Take the Lamb away and you take all away. "Who steals my purse, steals trash"-who steals my Christ, steals myselfand more than myself-my hopes that are to be my future joys.
Life is gone when His death is rejected, His blood despised. Our souls burn with indignation when this vital Truth of Godis assailed-
"Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
You soldiers of the Cross! Lift high His royal banner, It must not suffer loss!"
Wherever you are, to whatever Church you belong, do not associate with those who decry the atonement. Enter not into confederacywith those who, even by a breath, would disparage His precious blood. Do not bear that which assails the Lamb-grow indignantat the foul lie! The wrath of the Lamb may with safety be copied by yourself in this case-you will be angry and sin not. Oncemore, if this is so, if the glorious sacrifice of our Lord Jesus is so much thought of in Heaven, cannot you trust it herebelow? O you that are burdened with sin, here is your Deliverance-come to the sin-bearing Lamb. You that are perplexed withdoubts, here is your Guide-the Lamb can open the sealed books for you. You that have lost your comfort, come back to the Lamb,who is slain for you and put your trust in Him anew. You that are hungering for heavenly food, come to the Lamb, for He shallfeed you.
The Lamb, the Lamb, the bleeding Lamb-be this the sign upon the standard of the Church of God. Set that ensign to the frontand march boldly on to victory and then, O Lamb of God, that takes away the sin of the world, grant us Your peace! Amen.