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Heart Behind the Story “Worthy is the Lamb”

Andy Harrison28 June 2023

“Worthy is the Lamb!” There is so much meaning, so much depth in this statement. It is beautifully profound. With 4 simple words it articulates the ultimate worship expression for the believer.

I remember when Noah grabbed me at the end of one of our staff prayer meetings on a Friday morning and said, “Let me show you this…” It was just another one of these life-changing prayer meetings led by Ps. Sam that we get to experience every week. It’s amazing how many songs flow out of these moments while we’re praying over our church. On this particular day we had spent about the last half of the meeting just worshiping - totally centered on Jesus, with Ps Sam declaring over and over, “Worthy is the Lamb!” And that’s what Noah came out with… basically just 2 lines… “Worthy is the Lamb. The Lamb who was slain.” And, “I will praise, I will worship…” But as soon as he sang them to me up in his office I was drawn-in. I started to put some chords underneath and more lines began to flow out. It was simple but heavy and it felt like it was writing itself. I guess that’s because every time you sing words like these you’re really just picking up a song that has been sung through generations already. We were just thinking of the scene described in Revelation and imagining being a part of it.

Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice,

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honor and glory and blessing!”

And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying,

“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”

And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.

I love the sheer volume in this passage. “I heard around the throne…myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands… with a loud voice… every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth… ” This is expressive! This is loud! This is big. In fact it’s bigger than big. It’s the ‘no-expense spared display’ of passion and adoration that it should be. It’s also final and unanimous. Everyone is saying it - literally everyone. It’s the ultimate expression of all creation. Every voice that has been created was created with this shout in mind. It will ring for all eternity, but it’s what we get to join-in on every time we worship!

As Noah and I read it again, it felt like we were listening-in on this song and then singing out what we heard. Worthy is the Lamb! Just 4 words, but in my opinion, 4 words that sum-up every declaration of worship we could ever desire to express.

Worthy…deserving of the power, the wealth, the wisdom, the might, the blessing, the honour and glory. It is rightfully His and belongs to Him. Like a reigning King receiving the tribute that is due to him. In this passage it says that He is worthy to open the scrolls. In other words, He alone has the authority and right for this responsibility. Of course, He possesses this right because He is God. However, there is also a sense that - as the sacrificial Lamb of God, He is uniquely qualified through His humility and sacrifice.

There is also a sense that - as the sacrificial Lamb of God, Jesus is uniquely qualified through His humility and sacrifice.

Worthy is the… Lamb… this part is so important! The kind of celebration that we just heard echoing off the pages is fit for a conquering King! And yet, here we see Him as He is - the Lamb. This is the beauty of the paradox! The all-conquering King IS the humble Lamb. The One with authority IS the One who was slain. The One who humbled Himself is the One who alone is worthy!

Last year, Ps Russell declared over our church that it was a year of ‘Humility.’ Of course, this is always the aim of anyone pursuing a Christ-like life - this is us every year for the rest of our lives. But he specifically felt that God was prompting us to make that the focus of everything and to position ourselves in that posture of humility. The more we pursued that - the more Jesus became the focus. You can’t look at humility and not notice the cross. This is seen so clearly in the passage:

who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

It’s almost like Paul is listening in on the scene of Revelation 5 too as he’s writing this and adding context to it. That Lamb… The One all of creation is shouting about… The Name that’s above every name… the highly exalted one… He is that because He humbled and emptied Himself. He didn’t hold onto His right as God, but took on the form of a servant and was obedient even to death on the cross.

Now, every time we have sung this song it has been powerful - including the recording at Planetshakers Conference. But when we sang it together at some of our Easter services the meaning became richer than ever for me.

Before the world - a man strung up on a tree, beaten and naked like a criminal. But before God, The Spotless Lamb. His precious Son, the Lamb, was slain to atone for the sins of the world and “to ransom people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation…”

And they sang a new song, saying,
“Worthy are you to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation,
And here we are! Here we will be for all eternity. Every tribe, every language, every nation and every people-group. With the myriads upon myriads and thousands upon thousands. With the voices of every creature in heaven, on earth and under the earth. With the elders around the throne. With every knee bowed and every tongue confessing, “All blessing, honour and glory and power belong to our God forever and ever!” Worthy is the Lamb!