Each Day in the Word, Sunday, February 19, 2023

Revelation 5:6-10 (NKJV)

And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth. Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.

Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying:

“You are worthy to take the scroll,
And to open its seals;
For You were slain,
And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
10 And have made us kings and priests to our God;
And we shall reign on the earth.”

Seeing, hearing, and faith. Those themes run through the devotions this week. In today’s Gospel from Luke 18, it’s Jesus in His state of humiliation who showed His disciples what lay ahead for Him: suffering, death, and resurrection. Jesus laid out the plan for them to “see,” but they didn’t understand it at the time. Meanwhile, the blind man trusted even without seeing, which resulted in his sight being granted.

In today’s reading from Revelation, it’s Jesus in His state of exaltation who reveals to His Church the content of the sealed scroll, the decrees and judgments of God concerning what lies ahead for the Church.

Jesus is worthy to know and to reveal the Father’s decrees both as true God and as true Man, and as both the Lion and the Lamb: as the Lamb, because He gave Himself as a sacrifice for the world’s sins and cleansed His Church with the washing of water by the word; as the Lion, because He conquered sin and death and reigns over all things for the Church.

Jesus alone is worthy to reveal the Church’s future, and what He reveals is that the Church’s path resembles the path of Christ Himself. We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God. We must face suffering, rejection, and death. But like Jesus, we, too, will be resurrected and glorified. As with the Head, that is, Christ, so with the Body, that is, the Church.

Having seen the plan, learn from both the disciples and the blind man in Luke 18. You may not understand everything that Christ has revealed about these last days of the earth. But in this case, trust can be blind, because we have already seen the goodness and mercy of God in Christ. Trust in His good and merciful plan for His Church, and eventually, like the blind man whose faith saved him, your trust will be rewarded with sight, too.

Let us pray: O Lamb of God, You are worthy of all honor and praise. When we are unable to see how Your plans fit together, send forth Your Holy Spirit to enlighten our eyes and to strengthen our faith. Amen.

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