Jesus is praised and worshiped because he is the God who is the Lamb. The concept of praise based upon God’s sacrificial death as the Lamb constitutes an unexpected radical revelatory revision of the sacrificial theology of the Old Testament. In the cross of Christ we discover that God—the one who previously required sacrifice—has now become the sacrifice.
The point here, however, is not about formulating theories of the atonement; it is about recognizing that Christ as the sacrificial Lamb reveals to us the very being and essence of God—namely, that God is self-sacrificing, death-defeating love. God does not require blood; God spills it on our behalf to redeem us from the power of death. God is not a vindictive deity who demands retribution. Rather, God is the divine Lamb who relinquishes power and thereby kills the myth of redemptive violence and rises victorious over it in the resurrection.
The God who is love transforms the world into the image of love and ushers in a new creation, a new Jerusalem, powered by the energy and vitality of divine, cruciform love. As we meditate on the sacrifice of God today, let us praise the power of Christ’s revolutionary love, and let us become agents of reconciliation in a world of brokenness and violence.
Triune God, may your sacrifice give us rest in you so that we might become reconcilers for your kingdom of peace, salvation, and life. Amen.
Saul is one of the primary obstacles to the early spread of Christianity. The death and resurrection of Jesus does not fit his paradigm for the Messiah, so it cannot be true. It takes a miraculous intervention by Christ himself to change his mind. Psalm 30 reminds us that the light will always chase the darkness. We experience true suffering and true loss, but God can turn our mourning into dancing in God’s own timing. In Revelation, John takes us to the throne room of God, where angels and creatures proclaim the glory of the Lamb of God who has defeated death and reigns forever. Returning to the Gospel of John, we read more about Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances, which here include a seaside breakfast and a quiz for Peter.
Read Acts 9:1-20. Jesus’ resurrection calls us to an embodied faith. How do you bear the gospel?
Read Psalm 30. Recall a specific time when you depended on God.
Read Revelation 5:11-14. Have you ever worshiped the Lamb with your whole body? What keeps you from falling down to worship God?
Read John 21:1-19. The author reminds us that Jesus calls us to be shepherds and sheep. Which role do you most often fill? How can you take on a new leadership role or allow others to lead you?
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