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The Triumphant Lamb

Christ Crucified is now the risen Lord of all creation. He is risen!

The mission of Jesus did not end with his victory on the Cross 2000 years ago. It continues to this day. As we know, Christ Crucified triumphed over death. He is risen from the dead and now reigns in glory.

The Book of Revelation presents us with a powerful image of Christ Crucified reigning in heaven as Lord of all Creation:

“Then I saw standing in the midst of the throne and the four living creatures and the elders, a Lamb that seemed to have been slain. He had seven horns and seven eyes; these are the (seven) spirits of God sent out into the whole world. He came and received the scroll from the right hand of the one who sat on the throne. When he took it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each of the elders held a harp and gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of the holy ones.” (Rev 5:6-8)

By interpreting the apocalyptic symbols we find a clear image.

  1. First of Christ crucified. We all know who the lamb of God is, right? The sacrificial lamb who takes away the sins of the world seems to have been slain.
  2. However, now he is risen from the dead. That’s what the word standing means. Greek commentaries will tell you that’s really what is being emphasized here. He is standing forever, rooted strong.
  3. He is risen and he is reigning in heaven. He is in the midst of the throne. The throne is where God reigns over all creation. He stands in the midst of the throne.
  4. He is all powerful. In the ancient world the symbol of the horn meant power and the symbol of 7 meant perfection or totality.
  5. He is all knowing. The symbol of the eyes means knowledge.
  6. In the power of the Holy Spirit the seven fold spirit which goes out to the whole world and all of us.

According to Pope Benedict XVI the purpose of Revelation is to unveil, from the death and resurrection of Christ, the meaning of human history:

“[John’s] purpose is constituted once and for all by the revelation, starting with the death and resurrection of Christ, of the meaning of human history.

The first and fundamental vision of John, in fact, concerns the figure of the Lamb who is slain yet standing (cf. Rv 5: 6), and is placed before the throne on which God himself is already seated.

By saying this, John wants first of all to tell us two things: the first is that although Jesus was killed with an act of violence, instead of falling heavily to the ground, he paradoxically stands very firmly on his own feet because, with the Resurrection, he overcame death once and for all.

The other thing is that Jesus himself, precisely because he died and was raised, henceforth fully shares in the kingship and saving power of the Father. This is the fundamental vision.

On this earth, Jesus, the Son of God, is a defenceless, wounded and dead Lamb. Yet he stands up straight, on his feet, before God's throne and shares in the divine power. He has the history of the world in his hands.

Thus, the Seer wants to tell us: trust in Jesus, do not be afraid of the opposing powers, of persecution! The wounded and dead Lamb is victorious! Follow the Lamb Jesus, entrust yourselves to Jesus, take his path! Even if in this world he is only a Lamb who appears weak, it is he who triumphs!” (Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience, August 23, 2006, http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/audiences/2006/documents/hf_ben-xvi_aud_20060823_en.html)