The love of the Lamb at the centre of God’s throne

 

What comes to the forefront of our minds when we think of the throne room of heaven with the Lord God Almighty and Jesus, the King?

Psalm 96:6 declares that “Splendour and majesty are before Him; strength and glory are in His sanctuary.”

The prophet Isaiah saw the Lord “sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple” (Isa 6:1).  [The length of the train of the Lord’s robe indicates immeasurable power].

Revelation chapters 4 and 5 describe an emerald-like rainbow around the throne, the emanation of lightenings and thunderings, a sea of glass, and the voices of thousands and thousands of angels raised in worship.

In Revelation chapter 1, the disciple John fainted at the awesome sight of the Risen Lord Jesus with “eyes like a flame of fire”, “His voice as the sound of many waters” and “His countenance … like the sun shining in its strength.”

Jesus Himself said, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End … who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

John describes Jesus as “the ruler over the kings of the earth” (Rev. 1:5), “King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev. 19:16), “Lord God Almighty” (Rev. 15:3) and “the Lion of the tribe of Judah” (Rev. 5:5).

All these verses above depict God’s throne as a place that is filled with unspeakable power, immensity, majesty and glory.

Surely, then, this is supremely where Jesus Christ would take His place as the reigning Lion. Wouldn’t He?  For the lion is the symbol of sovereign power and authority, of undisputed dominance and consummate kingship.

Well, that would be according to the world’s values.  However, the values of the Kingdom of God are completely different; indeed, they are the polar opposite.  So, instead of the Lion, it is striking that at the very heart of the mighty throne of God is the Lamb:

“The Lamb … is in the centre of the throne”  (Rev. 7:17).

I am probably stating the obvious, as you read this reflection.  But I wanted to share it because recently this truth has penetrated my heart more deeply than ever before!

The verse in Revelation 7:17 speaks of the vast and immeasurable value that God places upon every single man, woman and child, because the sacrificial Lamb at the centre of God’s throne is there solely for our benefit and blessing.  So, in a way, we can say that we are there, with the Lamb, at the centre of the throne. In other words, we are at the very centre of God’s heart. That is how much He loves each one of us!

This truth is echoed in the very last prayer uttered by Jesus just before He was arrested in Gethsemane (as recorded in John’s Gospel).  In John chapter 17, Jesus asked His Father that all believers be united, as one, with the Father and the Son (“I in them, and You [Father] in Me” (John 17:23).

Jesus also prayed that the world would know that the Father loves all believers with the same love with which the Father loved Him (John 17:26). That is a truly astounding request!  And we can rest assured that Jesus’ prayers are always answered.

In other words, Jesus was asking His Father that every single believer would know that they/we are continuously indwelt, bathed in and surrounded by the very same quality and intensity of love with which the Father loves His Son.

What an unspeakable wonder!

This article began with a view of the splendour, majesty and power of God’s throne.  How amazing it is to see so clearly, though, that it all flows from the meekness and sacrificial love of the Lamb at the centre of the throne.

My prayer is for the grace to follow this lamb-like nature of Jesus (our example -1 Pet. 2:21), who was meek, who took no offence nor sought to justify Himself in the face of gross insult and deep injustice; who “made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, … He humbled Himself” (Phil. 2:7-8).

That is the pathway of Love – the Love that flows constantly from the throne of God to us and in us and also through us, out into the world which needs this Love so very much.

Speaking of Love, what better words to conclude this reflection than the inspired prayer of the apostle Paul:

“I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ … that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height – to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Eph. 3:14,17-19)

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Ann Shakespeare

Welcome to the Ann Shakespeare blog. Ann, a former correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Time magazine, BBC World Service and The Daily Journal, is currently involved in editing and writing on Christian themes. She also ministers in a local ecumenical centre which provides prayer and pastoral support.

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