The Conquering Lion

Then I began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the book or to look into it; and one of the elders *said to me, “Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.” And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth. (Revelation 5:4-6)

As children, many of us heard our parents say, “Did you remember to…?” One example that I remember hearing often when I returned from someone’s house was “Did you remember to say thank you?” I didn’t need a fresh revelation; I simply needed to remember. 

As he watched the vision Jesus gave him of heavenly reality, the apostle John was brought to tears when confronted by the fear that there was no one who could look into the secrets of the world and explain the troubles of his first-century experience. But John did not need new information. He needed to be reminded of what he already knew. He had erred by forgetting the basics.

John was told not to weep but to look to the one who could open the scroll. When he turned, he saw “a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain.” The Lamb’s wounds were a reminder of Christ’s death, by which He has achieved salvation. But this Lamb was standing, representing the triumph of His resurrection. Here, in this vision, we see Jesus, the all-merciful and all-powerful one. He is the Lamb, and He is the Lion. He deserves and demands the worship and obedience of all the world, and He will have it.

The Lamb’s wounds were a reminder of Christ’s death, by which He has achieved salvation.

Jesus was the solution to John’s tears, just as He is to our own tears of fearfulness when we feel the world pressing in against us—when we feel worn down, small, weak, and marginalized, and when we are tempted to believe that this world, rather than being under control, is governed only by chaos. 

None of us know what a day will bring or what will happen during a night. These secrets belong to God alone. But what great grace we experience when God gives us a tap on the shoulder and turns us to our Bibles, saying, Are you forgetting that the Lion of the tribe of Judah has actually triumphed, that He is in charge, that He oversees the future, that He is King? “Fear not,” Jesus had already told John: “I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore and I have the keys of Death and Hades” (Revelation 1:17-18).

So when you feel discouraged or defeated or troubled by the present or the future, the call is simply this: remember what you already know. Look to the Lion of Judah, who is for us the slain Lamb. He is worthy and able to open the scrolls and direct the history of this world to its end: to His return and our entry into glory.

Devotional is taken from the Truth For Life daily devotional by Alistair Begg, published by The Good Book Company, Used by Truth For Life with permission. Copyright © 2021, The Good Book Company.

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