Then, in between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders, I saw a Lamb, standing as if it had been slain. It had seven horns and seven eyes, which are God’s seven spirits, sent out into the whole earth. 7 He came forward and took the scroll from the right hand of the one seated on the throne. 8 When he took the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each held a harp and gold bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 They took up a new song, saying,
“You are worthy to take the scroll and open its seals, because you were slain, and by your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe, language, people, and nation. 10 You made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they will rule on earth.”
It’s unusual for the Bible to tell us right out what the symbols are supposed to mean – Jesus only does it one time with his parables – but John goes to lengths here to explain why the lamb is put together with all these extra bits. Except, in this case, the explanation doesn’t seem to help us understand it any better! The prayer helps us more. The Spirit goes out to the end of the world, helping us to live lives worthy of God.
I wonder what the song sounded like and the incense smelled like? What do you wonder?
Do you think it’s important to understand the mechanics of each part of the Bible? Or is is the experience or image enough?
Lord, we may not always understand it, but we do understand you deserve the highest praise of every person from every place. You died for us. You made us a royal family. Receive our praise, Jesus! Amen.