Follow the Lamb
(Rev. 14:4, Luke 12:32, Matt. 11:29)
Are you following the Lamb, Himself? We are His sheep and He is the good shepherd. In the opening of the heavens, John, the one who laid against His chest, saw Jesus Christ glorified. He was then, and is, no longer the man Jesus who walked on the earth. He has been glorified. Those who truly see Him are changed and will never be the same after that vision. The Lord chooses to whom He reveals Himself and He does so for us according to His wisdom and His purpose in our lives. And when we do see Him, we cannot help but to want more. If we resist, He will hide Himself and wait. Jesus gave an open invitation when He said, “If any man would come after me, let him pick up His cross and follow me.” The cross is the means by which our self-centered life is removed. We find things that mattered are no longer so important. Jim Elliot said it well, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep (this earthly life), to gain what he cannot lose (eternal life with the Living God)”. Parenthetical thoughts are mine.
A dear woman, Dr. Sandy, spoke at a local church one Sunday. We had never met before but we were in instant fellowship. We had separately been on the same path after the Lamb. She mentioned that in that record of that awesome revelation of Christ that John received, Jesus Christ is referred to 39 times as the Lamb of God. Once He is called the Lion of the tribe of Judah. Today I hear more about the lion, not enough about the Lamb. Everyone wants to be a lion. No one would dare touch you. A lamb is vulnerable. I see another difference between the two descriptions. One is related to God Himself; the other to an earthly tribe. What is our identity? Related to men, we ought not back down to men, yet if we want someone to spend time with us, we need to be vulnerable. We want real relationships, not superficial.
Jesus was only tough with the religious and I do not think He was ever mean or harsh, even with those who opposed Him. They opposed their own eternal destinies, for no man has an eternal destiny, and eternal hope, apart from Christ Himself. Do you want the Lord’s fulness in your life? Follow the Lamb wherever He leads you. Along with overemphasis on the lion, I do not hear enough of the fact that the new covenant in the blood of Christ has supplanted all other covenants including that made at Sinai. Read Galatians 4: 21-31 and focus on the last verse. While many may not see this, Paul’s words are clear. We are not children of both. The Jerusalem above is the mother of us all. So elsewhere we read that the blood of Christ, the blood of the Lamb, is the blood of the eternal (unchangeable) covenant. Every other covenant has failure because it depends on human behavior.
As we follow Christ, we are confronted with our inability to do so based on any resource apart from His life. So Paul could write, “It is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me.” That is the gospel. Jesus calls us to abide in Him. We wander but as we go on with Him, we realize that wandering costs us something. A security comes as we draw near and learn to stay near. Farther on, we know we are seated with Him in the heavens, in the place of absolute, certain authority and we learn to allow that authority to flow through us to others and it is the river of His life. We live in the throne room, in His presence and there we know the fulness of His joy over us.
The reference verses confirm this simply. He redeems all our failures. He washes them away in His blood. Let them go and continue following Him. It is His Spirit leading you into true righteousness. We do not have to fight our way into the kingdom. As we follow Him, it becomes the Father’s good pleasure to give us the kingdom. We apprehend the kingdom in greater and greater measure. The violence that is necessary, is the violence to our self-centeredness. That was accomplished at the cross but we must agree and allow it to work in our lives. I see it as experiencing the pain of childbirth. With all respect for women who experience that, a man can experience something akin in the spirit. Christ is in us and we must cooperate with the spiritual contractions and allow our souls to be transformed. As we learn to lean on Him and move progressively closer, we stay in His yoke. And in that place we find Him meek and lowly in heart and we find rest. And we know the heart of our Father.