Jesus is the Lamb who delivers me from death:
The very first time we see the term “worship” in the Scriptures it is spoken by Abraham, the father of the faith, “The lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you” [Gen. 22:5]. Abraham’s love, devotion, and worship of God were being tested. Would Abraham be able to display the ultimate expression of love and give his only son Isaac? It is in this most dramatic of scenes that we learn the sacrificial nature of love and worship. We also learn about faith, and the confident assurance that God will do exactly as He has promised to do. And even when I don’t understand in the midst of my circumstances that I can trust that He is good. Abraham confidently declares that both he and Isaac will return. Although Abraham is prepared to give his son to God, he expects that God will deliver Isaac from death one way or another. Because Isaac is the child of promise and God will keep His promise.
As they ascend Mt. Moriah, the same range where Christ would be crucified, Isaac ponders the preparation to sacrifice to God. Isaac is carrying the wood on his back, as Jesus did. His father is holding the fire, a symbol of purifying judgment, but something appears missing. So Isaac asks, “Where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” The purpose of the burnt offering was to make atonement for sin. And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering…” [Gen. 22:7-8]. Thus, Isaac was delivered from death.
God provided Himself as a substitute to take the penalty for my sin. Jesus is worthy of my worship, adoration, affection and gratitude for what He did in delivering me from death. I could never adequately express the gratitude that Jesus deserves for delivering me from the penalty I deserve.
Jesus is the Lamb who delivers me from sin:
John the Baptist saw Jesus coming and declared, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” First, I’m encouraged to “behold” or to contemplate meditate, and gaze upon Jesus. As I look at Jesus, John helps me to realize that He is the one who can deliver me, and the world from sin [Jn. 1:29]. John’s exhortation helps me to remember that there is a global sin epidemic.
My western culture does little to remind me that I offend an all holy and glorious God. To the contrary, it affirms my freedom to do whatever I please as long as it doesn’t hurt others. And the culture never compels me to wrestle with the issue of whether my behavior may in fact hurt others. The world screams so loudly that I have carte blanche to do what I want, that I can mute the still small voice of God. The voice that seeks to remind me that there is right and wrong in God’s universe, and that God sets the standard and I can’t ignore that reality. As a fish is presumably oblivious that it is in water, I lived in an environment where I was oblivious to sin. Then I beheld Jesus, the One who delivers me from sin.
Once I beheld and received Christ, I became increasingly aware of my sin. Through Christ’s death, resurrection, and His Spirit I have experienced victory and deliverance from sin. I’m not saying that I don’t think and act in ways that are contrary to God. But I can rejoice that in the quarter century that I have followed Jesus there has been so much progress. I confess that through beholding Christ I have become increasingly aware of my sin. And I praise Him for the deliverance that I have experienced. Not simply changes in behaviors and attitudes, but I am now motivated to please God, and overcome sin. Apart from Christ there is no deliverance from sin. Thus He is worthy to be worshiped.
Jesus is the Lamb who redeems me to God:
Each appearance of the Lamb displays a progressive revelation of God, His love, and our redemption, resulting in genuine worship of God. In the Revelation, the Apostle John describes a heavenly scene and the appearance of the Lamb [Rev. 5:6-14]. There the angelic host and the twenty-four elders (a likely picture of the Church in heaven before the Tribulation), declare the worthiness of the Lamb because He has redeemed us to God by His blood . Then a multitude, so great that it could not be counted by man, of the redeemed, the angelic host, and created beings submitted to God, declared praise: “Blessing and honor and glory and power to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!” And then worship.
The reality of redemption to God inspires worship. The fact that I’ve been delivered from death and sin are remarkable. Yet, it may be significantly more wonderful that I’m delivered to God. It is because of what Jesus has done that I am reconciled to God. I’m not reconciled to God because of my need, nor my efforts, or whatever victory I’ve experienced over sin. I am a child of the True and Living God because of Jesus my Redeemer. And as John observed, no one else is worthy to redeem man to God and provide ultimate restoration [Rev. 5:1-7]. So it is not surprising to me that eternal praise, adoration, and worship is the reality of heaven. And to those who behold the Lamb, there are countless reasons to worship Him.