Useful Bible Studies > Revelation Commentary > chapter 5

The special description of Christ as a lamb

Revelation 5:6

The ruler had told John to look for the great king. The king had acted as boldly as the animal called the lion, to overcome the devilís evil forces (verse 5).

So John looked, and he saw Christ. John gives here the second in a series of special descriptions of Christ. The first description, in Revelation 1:12-16, describes Christ as the great judge. This second description describes Christ as a lamb (a young sheep). It is a description in two parts. The first part is about the importance of Christís death. The second part is about how Christ acts in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Formerly, it was usual for Godís people to offer lambs and other animals to God (for example, Exodus 12:1-11). They did that because their own sins (evil deeds) made it impossible for them to have a right relationship with God. They asked God to accept the death of an animal so that they could pray to him.

Christ is called the lamb of God (John 1:29) because he died for the sins of other people (1 Peter 1:18-19). He died so that God can forgive our sins. John saw that in heaven. There, Christ appeared as a lamb that people had killed. However, Christ was not without power. In fact, the Holy Spirit, who raised Christ from death, had given all power and all knowledge to him.

The number 7 is often a word-picture in the Book of Revelation. A horn (the bony point that grows on the heads of some animals) is a frequent word-picture in the Bible for power and strength. So, 7 horns means complete power. Similarly, 7 eyes means to see everything and, therefore, to have complete knowledge.

It is the Holy Spirit who gives power and knowledge (Isaiah 11:2). 7 spirits means that Christ received the Holy Spirit completely, without any limit (John 3:34).

Next part: Christ at Godís right hand (Revelation 5:7)


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© 2016, Keith Simons.