Jesus Our High Priest and Sacrifice
(This chapter is based on Revelation, chapter 5)
Before we begin, Welcome to Revelation Speaks Lesson series. I am glad you have chosen to study the book of Revelation with us. If this is the first time you have seen this series, then I invite you to review the other lessons before completing this lesson. With each lesson building on what has been taught in previous lessons it is important to start at the beginning. You can click here and it will take you to the introduction page and previous lessons. At the end of this lesson I have my email listed so you can submit additional questions on this lesson or any previous lesson. Now let us begin!
From the foundation of this world, Christ the Creator, the Lamb “which is and was, and is to come,” was commissioned by the Father to especially minister to the inhabitants of Planet Earth (Revelation 13:18; John 5:36; John 6:38). We are told that God the Father created all things by Jesus Christ (Ephesians 3:9).
After the fall of man, God promised Adam and Eve that the seed of the woman (which is Christ), would bruise the serpent’s (Satan’s) head, and the serpent would bruise Christ’s heel (Genesis 3:15). Here we find a prophecy of God’s plan to restore fallen man to the family of God by the gift of His only Son to die as the sacrificial Lamb on Calvary’s cross! What unspeakable love the Father and Son have for the inhabitants of earth!
It was Christ the Rock whose presence followed the children of Israel in the wilderness (I Corinthians 10:4). It was Christ the Son of God whom King Nebuchadnezzar recognized in the fiery furnace with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Daniel 3:26). And in this chapter, we find Christ ministering on man’s behalf in the heavenly sanctuary. As we study this chapter we can but echo the glorious old song, “O for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer’s praise!”
Let’s take a closer look at Christ as He appears before John in the fifth chapter of Revelation.
READ: Revelation 5:1-14
1. What did John see when he turned to see who was speaking to him? Revelation 1:10 – 12.
Answer: Seven Golden Lampstands
In Exodus Moses by the instruction of God gives us great detail on how the tabernacle was to be made. The word Tabernacle means: “to dwell with them” or in the case of the heavenly Sanctuary it would be place where God dwells.
Exodus 25:31-40, goes into great detail on the construction of the Golden Lamp Stand which is a representation of the golden candlesticks of heaven.
NOTE: We are told that the seven golden candlesticks which John saw in vision represent seven churches (Revelation 1:20). When Moses was instructed by God to build a sanctuary in the wilderness, God gave Moses explicit details: “And let them build me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. According to all that I show thee.” (Exodus 25:8 – 9). In the rest of Exodus 25 and on through chapter 31, God tells Moses exactly how to build the sanctuary, how it was to be furnished, the minute details of how the priests were to minister there, and what they should wear, etc. The golden candlesticks were a part of the furnishings of the Holy Place – the first section of the Sanctuary.
2. Whom did John see standing in the midst of the seven candlesticks? Revelation 1:13 – 16.
Answer: Jesus, one like the Son of Man
In our first lesson we read this verse. Revelation 1:16; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edge sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. V. 20. The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lamp stands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstand which you saw are the seven churches.
A sharp two edge sword. Sounds frightening doesn’t it. The sword is first mentioned in Genesis 3:24 which came just after the fall of Adam and Eve. The sword stood in judgment of Adam and Eve because they had transgressed the law of God. The first Edge of the sword represents Christ’s authority to judge and the second edge of the sword stands for God’s word. Hebrews 4:12 states; “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, . . . . a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
John 1:1 makes it clear that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” Christ instructed Moses on the construction of the tabernacle and God’s law, his 10 Commandments are referred to I John 2:7; I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning.
What is the word we have heard from the beginning? That would be the commandments of God. Instituted in heaven and given to our first parents, Adam and Eve. They were relevant then and they are just as relevant today.
NOTE: Here John caught a glimpse of Jesus ministering in the heavenly sanctuary on behalf of all mankind. The sanctuary that Moses built for God was a copy of the one in heaven. The heavenly sanctuary was the pattern of the earthly sanctuary. “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into the haven itself now to appear in the presence of God for us. “Hebrews 9:24.
3. When John saw Jesus standing in the middle of the candlesticks, how did that affect him emotionally? Revelation 1:17, 18
Answer: John fell at his feet as dead (it was in an attempt to worship)
NOTE: John was so overwhelmed by the scene that he fell as a dead man. Then Jesus tenderly laid His right hand upon John and told him not to be afraid. John recognized that voice – the voice of his dearest Friend and Saviour. What a touching moment! What joy must have filled John’s old tired heart!
Read: Revelation 19:10; Isaiah 44:6; Isaiah 48:12
No one or anything on this earth deserves to be worshipped other than God! He is our creator, redeemer and as such He is deserving of our worship.
4. Describe what John saw happening in the sanctuary. Revelation 5:1-4.
Answer: A scroll written on both sides and sealed with seven seals and the strong angel couldn’t find anyone to open the scroll.
Before we continue, there are two questions that need to be answered. The first is:
a. What is this scroll? Read Revelation 13:8, and Revelation 21:27.
Answer: The answer is clear, this is the Lamb’s Book of Life and upon this book there are names written on both sides and the book is sealed with seven seals.
b. Who is the strong angel? Revelation 10:1 and 18:2, 21
Answer: Some believe it could be Gabriel one of the Arch angels or perhaps another. The description in Revelation 10:1 really has me wondering if this is a description of God Himself or rather of Jesus. Why would I think this? Ezekiel chapters 1 and 10 give us descriptions of God’s throne and above that throne is a rainbow. The description given to John also uses a rainbow, making one wonder if this was Jesus. Angel is another name for minister or messenger and here Christ is pictured as a might messenger.
NOTE: John wept much! This precious old saint was so disappointed and saddened by the thought that no one was worthy to open this very important book that he broke down and wept greatly!
5. Whom did one of the elders say could open the book? Revelation 5:5
Answer: The Lion of the tribe of Judah the Root of David has prevailed to open the scroll and to lose its seven seals. This would be Jesus
Isaiah 11:1, 10; There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots. 10 And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, Who shall stand as a banner to the people; For the Gentiles shall seek Him and His resting place shall be glorious
Who is this Jesse? The Father of David, the Grandson of Ruth and Boaz. See Ruth 4:18-22 for the genealogy of David. We also see Jesse’s name mentioned in I Samuel chapter 16 in which Samuel goes to Bethlehem and anoints Jesse’s son David to be the next king of Israel.
Art is by Pat Marvenko Smith Copyright 1992. To order prints visit her “Revelation Illustrated” site, http://www.revelationillustrated.com
6. What was the next event John saw in vision? Revelation 5:6, 7.
Answer: Throne, slain lamb, 4 living creatures The Slain Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes.
John saw into the heavenly Sanctuary into the Holy Place. In the Old Testament tabernacle the Most Holy Place is where the ark is and upon the ark was the mercy seat. This is where God dwelled when he was in the presence of the children of Israel. But it appears this scene take place in the throne room of the Holy Place.
So we can reliably assume that these events are taking place in the Holy Place and there is a lot of symbolism happening. We have one in the likeness of a slain lamb having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seventh spirits of God sent out into all the earth.
As we have seen in previous studies in Revelation the number seven denotes completeness or fullness. The fullness or completeness of the church happened in seven stages from apostolic times till the time of Christ’s return.
Now this lamb that appears to have been slain has seven horns and seven eyes which are the seven spirits of God.
In John 1:36 John the Baptist calls Jesus “The Lamb of God.” Jesus ministered on earth for three and a half years before he was put to death during the Passover. We have also seen he died on the cross and according to scripture he died at the time of the evening sacrifice for the veil in the temple was torn top to bottom. (see Matthew 27:51; Mark 15:38; and Luke 23:45) The torn veil represented Christ fulfilling the meaning of the sacrificial system for He being the sacrificial lamb sent by God had now fulfilled what the sacrificial system had pointed to.
The seven horns and seven eyes which are the seven spirits of God. What is trying to be said here?
To answer that question we need to return the previous question where five where one of the elders said who could open the book. Revelation 5:5 John is told to now weep, behold the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the root of David has prevailed to open the school and to loose its seven seals.
Who is the Lion of the tribe of David? Of course it is Jesus. When John turned to witness this Lion receive the scroll he instead seems a Lamb standing as having been slain. The Lion is the symbol for the tribe of Judah which is the tribe that David was from. But the Lion also symbolizes or shows what Christ did, (he “has overcome”). The Lamb shows how he did it. The figure of the lamb here as in the rest of Revelation, but be understood on the basis of the Old Testament Sacrificial concept and ritual, in which the blood of the slaughtered lamb was related to redemption. Here is the main point of the scene. Christ is “Worthy” to take the sealed scroll and open it by virtue of his victorious death. It was the cross that made Christ unique and worthy of this honor. By virtue of his victory on the cross, he is now eligible to share the heavenly throne with the Father. (see Revelation 3:21)
I am going to come back to this scroll in just a minute, but first we need to finish the description, bringing in the seven horns, seven eyes which are the seven spirits.
The seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God signify His divine power and ability to both rule and judge. The fact that the Lamb has seven horns and seven eyes is especially significant in light of the fact that the scroll is sealed with seven seals.
The seven Horn symbolizes Christ’s omnipotence and are related to his ability to take and open the seven sealed scroll. The seven eyes that stand for his omniscience are related to his ability to read the scroll and instruct his people in its contents. The seven spirits denote the fullness of the Holy Spirit who is sent into all the earth.
Note: This is the only place in the book of Revelation in which the Holy Spirit is sent to the earth. Earlier in the book, “the Seven Spirits” are seen before God’s throne. (see Revelation 1:4; Revelation 4:5)
And when do we see this great out pouring of the Holy Spirit in the Bible. This would naturally be at Pentecost, 50 days after Christ death on the cross. According to Revelation chapter 5 the Holy Spirit is directed in its work by Christ and this started on the Day of Pentecost and this is when Christ, the slain Lamb, the Lion of the tribe of Judea received the scroll from God the Father.
Verse 7 is the climatic act of this chapter. “Then He (Christ) came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him (God the Father) that sat on the throne.
This act of taking the scroll from the hand of the Father signified the token of kingship and symbol of transference of all authority and sovereignty to Him (Jesus). Through this act, the Father has committed to Christ the lordship over the world. The Covenant Book (the Lambs Book of Life) which was sealed and stored because of human unworthiness, is now handed to the triumphant Christ. The promised ideal king of Davidic lineage, the Lion of the tribe of Judah who is actually the Sprout of David, the eschatological “Son” (see Daniel 7:13-14; Revelation 1:13; Revelation 2:18; Revelation 14:14)
With this symbolic taking of the sealed scroll, the destiny of all humanity is placed into Christ’s hands according to God’s eternal decree. On the bases of His saving work completed by him, He is called to discharge with authority God’s plan for the end of History.
Art is by Pat Marvenko Smith Copyright 1992. To order prints visit her “Revelation Illustrated” site, http://www.revelationillustrated.com
7. What did the beings surrounding the throne say when the Lamb took the book, and why did they say He was worthy? Revelation 5:8, 9.
- Fell down and Worshiped the Lamb because you are worthy
- For you were slain and have redeemed us to God
To be worthy to take the scroll denotes that he is now worthy of receiving praised and worshipped. Previously and angels and the 24 Elders had fallen down to worship Him to sat upon the throne, (God the Father). Now they fell down and worshiped Jesus.
ADDITIONAL NOTE: Galatians 3:13; Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”) See Romans 8:3 and Deuteronomy 21:22-23
Deuteronomy 21:22-23; If a man has committed a sin deserving of death, and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, 23 his body shall not remain overnight on the tree, but you shall surely bury him that day, so that you do not defile the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance; for he who is hanged is accursed (cursed) of God.
Side Note: If a person was accused of blaspheming God, they were to be hung on a tree. This is what the Jewish leaders accused Christ of this is why he died on a tree (the Cross). And in a sense this is what we do when we sin. We commit blaspheme against God and his law.
Romans 8:3; For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh.
I Peter 1:18-19; Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
This is what made Christ worthy to open the seal and receive the adoration and worship of the heavenly throng. Jesus was found worthy for he was found incorruptible and was slain as a lamb without blemish. For Jesus was the lamb without blemish and without spot. His sacrifice had been found acceptable by the Father and as we saw in question seven, Christ became ruler of this earth and sent his spirit to strive with men by the direction of Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords.
8. What has the “Lamb” done for us by His death? Revelation 5:8, 9, & 10, Revelation 1:5, 6.
Answer: Redeemed us to God and made us Kings and Priests to our God.
What a promise God gave to the children of Israel: “If you obey me and keep my commandments you will be a special people to me and I will make you a kingdom of priests, holy nation.”
Please Read: Exodus 19:5, 6; Isaiah 61:6; and I Peter 2:9
The prophet Isaiah reinforced this when he said; “But you shall be named the priests of the Lord, They shall call you the servants of our God. You shall eat the riches of the Gentiles,” Again the call by Isiah was for the people to follow the law of God. If you follow the Lord your God, then you shall be recognized as priests of the Lord and Servants of God.
But the Israelites were not faithful to God, as in the same way Adam and Eve were unfaithful and failed to live up to the expectations of the law. But Christ came in the likeness of sinful flesh, took on all the qualities of sinful mankind, then lived the life mankind was not able to live. He was accursed of God, rejected by man. He became the sacrificial lamb, who died the death all mankind deserved so that we may become as it says in I Peter 2:9; “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”
By Christ’s death and resurrection we are again restored as a special people, a chosen generation, loyal priesthood and a holy nation.
9. When was the plan made for our redemption by the blood of the Lamb? Revelation 13:8
Answer: Slain from the foundation of the world
Read the following verses: Ephesians 1:4; Matthew 25:34; Revelation 17:8
Clear reading the texts listed above that the plan of salvation has been in existence since before the world was created.
God took nothing to chance. He love the world so much that even before creating it He planed that should mankind fall, there would be a way to redeem fallen humanity, to reunite this fallen planet to Himself.
10. What did John the Baptist say that Jesus was? John 1:29
Answer Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world
11. When Jesus died on Calvary’s cross, what was washed away by His blood? Revelation 1:5; I John 1:7
Answer: Our sins
NOTE: Revelation 5:9 says, “. . . for thou was slain, and hast redeemed us to God by the blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.” Could any news be more thrilling? Anyone, anywhere can be restored to the family of God if they accept Jesus as their Saviour and Lord.
12. What seven things do the thousands and thousands of voices say that the salin Lamb is worthy to receive? Revelation 5:11, 12.
a. __ Power _________ e. ___ Honor ______
b. __ Riches _________ f. ___ Glory _______
c. __ Wisdom ________ g. ___ Blessing ____
d. __ Strength
NOTE: Perhaps it would be well to add these to this list so what are some other things you think the slain Lamb is worthy to receive. List any that come to mind:
Answer: Praise honor love adoration
13. Where did Jesus go to minister after His resurrection? Luke 24:50 – 53.
Answer: Bethany, Jerusalem and Holy Place
NOTE: WE DO NOT SAY THAT Christ was our High Priest we say that He is our High Priest. He not only did something to save us nearly two centuries ago; He is active for us now, today, at this very moment. The process of reconciliation, of forgiveness, of healing, of restoring broken relationships and shattered lives – all goes on because ‘He lives to make intercession’ for those who draw near to God through Him’ (Hebrews 7:25).” God Cares vol 2, p. 162
14. “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest, who has passed into the heaven’s Jesus the Son of God Let us hold fast to our confession.” Hebrews 4:14
15. Why is our High Priest so special to us? Hebrews 4:15
Answer: Tempted in all things and can sympathize
NOTE: He understands our heartaches, our loneliness, our weaknesses, our temptations, our disappointments and frustrations. And more than that, “He is touched with the feelings of our infirmities . . . . “There is no one else like that! And – He cares! He invites us to come to “the throne of grace, that we might obtain sweet mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16)
16. What reason is given as to why the saved are saved? Revelation 7:14.
Answer: Robes wash in the blood of the lamb
NOTE: What was washed away by the blood of the Lamb? Revelation 1:5 says, “. . . to Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood.
When we accept Christ as our personal savior He not only becomes our King He becomes out High Priest. He also exchanges our cloths which are as filthy rags. He exchanges them for robes that have been washed in the blood of the Lamb. Christ is that Lamp. The spotless lamb that left the glories of heaven to take the form of sinful man. He was tempted and tried as we all are. He daily communicated with His father and received the strength of heaven. This strength is available to each of us. How is it available to each of us? For the answer look at question 17
17. What must you do to wash your robe in the blood of the Lamb?
a. First you must recognize that you are a sinner deserving the death penalty. Romans 3:23; I Timothy 1:15; Romans 6:2
b. Second, you must realize that you can’t earn salvation, you don’t deserve it, and you can’t buy it. It was a gift of a loving gracious God. Our good works cannot earn our salvation, for the Bible says, for by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8, 9
c. Third, you must believe that Christ is the Son of God and that He died in your place on the cross as an atonement for your sins. John 1:12Of course, to believe in Christ is to be willing to trust Him as not only the Saviour, but as the Lord of your life. In other words, surrendering your life to Him completely. This doesn’t mean that once we are saved we are always saved. As the Apostle Paul said. Daily we must put self on the back burner and cling to what is important and that is a personal relationship with Christ. It is only through the Holy Spirit that we can gain the victory over self and find that our name is written in the book.
18. Where must your name be written if you are to enter the New Jerusalem? Revelation 21:27
Answer: Book of Life
ð I want Jesus to come into my heart and be the Saviour and Lord of my life forever.
ð As I have studied this lesson my heart has been touched by the sacrifice of my Lord for me.
ð I realize I am a sinner and I need Jesus’ blood to cover my sins.
Supplemental Reading: God Cares, vol. 2, pp. 157 – 167
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