Summary: Almost everyone has a picture in their minds of what Jesus looks like... but almost no one visualizes Him the way He's shown in Revelation 5. Why does God paint us a portrait of a wounded lamb with 7 horns and 7 eyes?
A preacher was showing a child a painting of Jesus. Trying to explain that we didn’t really know what Jesus looked like he said: "It's not really Jesus. It’s just an artist's conception of him."
The child looked long and hard at the picture and said; "Well, it sure looks like him,"
(Dick Van Dyke R.Digest 2/71 p. 232)
Most people have a picture in their mind of what Jesus looked like. But – if they saw a picture of what John describes Jesus to be in Revelation 5 - that wouldn’t be what they’d imagine.
At the beginning of this chapter, John is weeping because it seemed no one could be found who was worthy to open the mighty book. Then one of the elders said to him,
“Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” Revelation 5:5
(We showed a picture of a lion with Jesus in the background)
Now I can get into Jesus being the Lion of Judah.
Lions are regal, powerful, majestic. They’re cool!
But when John looks around… he doesn’t see a Lion does he?
What does John see? (a lamb)
“… between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.” Revelation 5:6
(We showed a picture of the lamb described here – with 7 horns and 7 eyes)
Now take a look at this lamb.
That Lamb doesn’t look in the least bit normal does it?
It doesn’t look in the least like how I would picture Jesus.
So… is this really how Jesus looks?
You see, Revelation is a book of imagery.
Most of what it tells us is not meant to be taken literally.
Now there are TV evangelists and teachers of Revelation who try to teach that practically everything in Revelation is literal. And if you were to suggest to them that some part of Revelation should be seen as a spiritual picture God was painting… those prophetic teachers would ridicule and criticize you. (I’ve heard them do it).
But this is definitely not a literal snapshot of how Jesus actually would look in heaven.
This is a spiritual portrait of WHO Jesus is.
ILLUS: How many of you have ever been to the fair and seen one of those artists who will make a drawing of you for $5 or so. Have you ever had your portrait done?
Does it look exactly like you?
No, it doesn’t does it?
It’s called a “Caricature “ (We showed a Caricature on screen).
What the artist does is take one of your physical characteristics and magnifies it.
If you have bushy eyebrows… they are larger than life.
If you have a strong chin… they give you a BIG chin.
If you have toothy smile… they give LOTS of teeth.
And it’s all in fun and almost everybody will take it home, frame it and put it on the wall someplace.
Now, what we have here in Revelation 5 is a portrait of Christ where the artist is essentially making the TRUTHS about Jesus to be larger than life.
Notice – He is the Lamb that was slain.
This is a repeated image of Christ in the Scriptures
In John 1:29 we’re told that John the Baptist “…saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the LAMB of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
In Isaiah 53:7 which goes into great detail describing the coming Messiah, we’re told:
“Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter and like a LAMB before its shearer is silent, so he opens not his mouth.”
And throughout Revelation… Jesus is repeatedly referred to as THE LAMB
• Rev 7:10 “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
• Rev 7:17 “… the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd…
• Rev 12:11 “… (Christians) have conquered (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb…”
• Rev 19:7 “…the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready”
• Rev 21:27 tells us that the only ones who will enter heaven will be “… those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”
This is the IMAGE that God wants to BURN into our minds.
When we see Jesus in heaven he’s NOT going to be a literal LAMB.
But that is the picture of WHO Jesus really is to us.
He is the Lamb of God who took away our sins.