Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Day 31 (24): Worthy is the Lamb - Scene 4 (53)

Part of "Worthy is the Lamb", the final chorus of Messiah by Handel, from the composer's autograph score.
By Novello Ewer & Company Uploaded by Tim riley at en.wikipedia
 [Public domain, Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

For those of you reading on the "by Christmas" schedule, I have you ending on Christmas Eve rather than Christmas morning as this is a very reflective last movement of Messiah and perfect for the night before Christmas, especially the very long "Amen" segment of the movement. I suggest going back to the "Hallelujah Chorus" for Christmas morning! 

There is no recording on Wikisource. But here is a nice one on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Ew8ig612NQc

Do not miss listening to the entire "AMEN"! It is beautiful.

Scene 4 -
"The glorification of the Messianic victim"

53. Chorus

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain and hath redeemed us to God by His blood, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. 
Blessing, and honour, glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever.  Amen.  (Revelation 5:12, 9, 13-14)


Revelation 5

This chapter is the culmination of all that we have learned in the three years of Bible reading in the Bible Book Club and The Scarlet Thread of Redemption that we have been tracking from Genesis - Revelation! If you are just doing this devotion and have not been part of the Bible Book Club, consider doing it in the next cycle that starts January 1!

Revelation 5 opens with God, on His throne, holding a book (scroll) that is sealed up with seven seals. The loud voice (the first of 20 in the book of Revelation) of a strong angel asks, 

"Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?" (5:2)

The only one worthy was the "Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David." Remember that David came from the tribe of Judah, and Jesus came from the line of David (Matthew 1:1). Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of a King who would come. 

“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to
 testify to you these things for the churches. 
I am the root and the descendant of David
the bright morning star.”
(Revelation 22:16)

Revelation 5:5 says that the Lion has "overcome." This statement ties in with the "victory" songs in the beginning of the last scene. "Overcome" and "victory" are derived from the same Greek root word, nike. Jesus is the victor in the battle against Satan and sin, and He has given us the victory.

Even though Jesus was introduced as a Lion, John saw a "Lamb standing, as if slain." In His first coming, Jesus came as the "Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). In His second coming, He will be the conquering Lion. Revelation 5 is the only place in this book where Jesus is referred to as a Lion, but He is referred to as a Lamb 27 times! "He is a lion to conquer Satan, a lamb to satisfy the justice of God" (Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible, p. 2471). 

What about the scroll?
The scroll represents Christ’s “title deed” to all that the Father promised Him because of His sacrifice on the cross. “Ask of Me, and I shall give Thee the heathen [nations] for Thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession” (Ps. 2:8). Jesus Christ is the “Heir of all things” (Heb. 1:2). He is our beloved “Kinsman-Redeemer” who was willing to give His life to set us free from bondage and to restore our lost inheritance (see Lev. 25:23–46; the Book of Ruth; Jer. 32:6–15). 
The Bible Exposition Commentary Volume 2, p. 584, Re 5:1
A title deed can only be opened by the heir, and Jesus is the heir of all things (Hebrews 1:2).

Also, Jesus "purchased" (agorazō means "to redeem") people from every tribe, language, people, and nation (salvation is available to ALL). His blood bought us all out of slavery. 

When the Lamb takes the scroll, the only response of the elders, living creatures, and eventually angels, totaling an innumerable multitude, is WORSHIP. Then, every created thing in heaven, on earth, under the earth, and on and in the sea give power, riches, wisdom, might, honor, glory, blessing and full on WORSHIP to Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb because He is so very WORTHY! 



Whew! That was so fun to meditate in the Messiah every day for a month. How lovely to wake up every morning with the musical movements of Scripture playing in my head. This has been so enriching. I will never tire of it.

And speaking of the music, I love the way Handel built this last chorus to where there is this piling up of a multitude of voices going higher and higher with instruments coming in all over the place. It is so moving, but imagine what heaven will be like when we are in full-on worship of Him!

Jesus is the Lamb that was slain for US. He bore it all on the cross for US. "By His wounds, we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5). And that is what it is all about.

I can only say AMEN to that and cry like a baby. 
Thank you Jesus for your gift of love. May my life be worthy of the price that You paid. I want to give You everything and hold nothing back until my last breath on earth because YOU are WORTHY.

And all God's people said, AMEN!


Worship Him as we conclude this wonderful time in Handel's Messiah

May your new year be blessed!

Light Looked Down by Laurence Housman

Light looked down and beheld Darkness.
“Thither will I go,” said Light.
Peace looked down and beheld War.
“Thither will I go,” said Peace.
Love looked down and beheld Hatred.
“Thither will I go,” said Love.
So came Light and shone.
So came Peace and gave rest.
So came Love and brought life.
And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.

Hopefully, I will see some of you at the next three year cycle of the Bible Book Club! Go to www.3yearbiblebookclub.blogspot.com or download word documents of the entire blog HERE.
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