'Conquering Lamb of Revelation,' an original watercolor by Ralph F. Wilson (10 x 14 inches).
'Conquering Lamb of Revelation,' an original watercolor by Ralph F. Wilson (10 x 14 inches). This Agnus Dei (Lamb of God) follows a long symbolic tradition of the Church. The Lamb carries a vexillum (a military battalion flag), representing resurrection -- victory over death. From under the throne flows a river of living water. I've used the painting for a book cover.

The Lamb in the Book of Revelation is a powerful, commanding, conquering figure, not the weak, docile, submissive persona you usually associate with a lamb. And while "lamb" refers to Jesus occurs only four times in the rest of the New Testament, the Lamb appears 27 times in Revelation as a symbol for Jesus Christ, many more times than any other name or title for Jesus in Revelation -- including "Jesus," "Christ," and "Jesus Christ." That's startling!

This Lamb of Revelation is mighty, militant, conquering, triumphant, rendering judgment -- and  a perplexing and glorious paradox. He:

  • Is slain but standing,
  • The Lamb and the Lion,
  • Shares the throne with his Father,
  • Is the Shepherd who leads his people to living waters, and
  • Is the Warrior who conquerors the devil.

I invite you to join me as we explore the Lamb of Revelation in a series of brief daily devotions over the next twenty-four days, one meditation each day.

This will be different than a devotional guide you may be used to. They're longer. They are more like mini-studies -- some short, some longer, but all short enough to read within a few minutes. So plan to set aside a bit more time each day for the next 24 days. Each day's lesson contains enough research that you can meditate more deeply on each one and even use it as the basis for a devotional message or sermon, if God so leads. Each devotion concludes with a prayer, a meditation question, and has a link to an audio version.

Each day of this series, I'll put the day's verse in brief context with what is going on in that section of Revelation. However, please don't expect me to explain the overall Book of Revelation in this series, or e-mail me for answers to questions of that sort. (For those questions I refer you to my study Book of Revelation: Discipleship Lessons, either in book form, or an e-mail-delivered study.) The present series of daily meditations focuses squarely on the Conquering Lamb of Revelation.

Mosaic (1856-59), Exeter College chapel, Oxford Each lesson is illustrated by a depiction of the Agnus Dei or Lamb of God, a recognized Christian symbol as early as 500 AD. The Lamb, of course, represents the victorious Jesus. Usually the Lamb carries a flag of victory on a staff topped by a cross, a vexillum (military battalion flag), representing resurrection -- victory over death. Other times the Lamb holds a cross. Sometimes the Lamb is resting on a book or scroll with seven seals. Occasionally, you'll see blood flowing from the Lamb's breast into a chalice, representing the Lord's Supper. In other depictions, the Lamb is adored by the heavenly hosts. I hope you enjoy exploring this ancient Christian symbol of the Conquering Lamb as it has been portrayed by artists for nearly two thousand years. Image: Mosaic (1856-59), Exeter College chapel, Oxford.

You'll find the three-and-a-half weeks of this study a very rich time of gazing on the Conquering Lamb of Revelation. And as you're faithful to pause for the meditation of the day, day after day, you'll begin to experience the cumulative effect of all these passages, seeing Jesus in a new, faith-filled way. It's my prayer that through these meditations, you'll come to appreciate and trust Jesus more deeply and give your life to him more fully.

Yours in Christ's service,
Pastor Ralph
Loomis, California
May 15, 2020

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