The Epi center of Easter week is Easter Sunday, the day of Christ’s resurrection. You recall at Jesus’ death on Good Friday there was an earthquake and what happened on that Friday and that Easter Sunday, still sends shock waves rippling through people’s hearts and souls today. Easter left an aftershock which has shaken the world throughout the last couple thousand years. You can still feel the aftershocks of Easter weekend today in our churches, in communion, in worship and all over the world. The earthquake which occurred back there in time is still shaking and quaking throughout this world thousands of years later!
On March 11, 2001 a massive earthquake struck off the coast of Japan triggering a devastating tsunami that swept over cities and farmland in the northern part of the country. The earthquake, whose magnitude was measured at 9.0 on the Richter scale, is one of the most powerful ever recorded. Adding to the catastrophe, the critical cooling systems at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station were severely damaged, triggering explosions, partial core meltdowns, and releases of radioactive material directly into the atmosphere and ocean. In all, over 27,000 people were either killed or are still missing.
A month later, the aftershocks continue. On April 11, a magnitude 7.1 earthquake—just one of hundreds of smaller, related quakes—rattled the northeastern coast of Japan triggering tsunami warnings and renewed fears. Not all of the “aftershocks” have been physical, however. From the sheer effects of this event in human terms, to falling stock markets, the loss of production from the world’s third largest economy, and the renewed concerns about the safety of nuclear power, the impact of this disaster is being felt the world over…and will be for a long time to come…
We come today a month later from the epic center of our Christian faith – The death and resurrection of Jesus - to this Communion Table. Everything that we do as Christians, from our worship life, to our evangelism and service, to the promise of God’s love and grace is rooted in Jesus’ death and Resurrection. This is ground zero for the Christian. Without the resurrection, and Jesus’ death on a Roman cross we would not be experiencing the aftershock of this event over 2,000 years later.
Unlike a stone thrown in a pond whose ripples travel outward and diminish the farther they travel from where the stone hit the water, the aftershock ripples of the Cross and the Resurrection gain momentum and size the farther they travel through time until today when all around the world the magnitude of Easter is felt. Until Jesus comes back the aftershock will keep growing, undaunted by time and undiminished in power.
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
This occurred prior to Jesus’s death and resurrection but today I want you to see the Lamb after His Resurrection, I want you to see the Lamb of Glory
As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 5:7
… For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.
It is finished He is the Lamb of Glory now
When you catch a glimpse of the Lamb of Glory, when you see through eyes of faith this eternal Lamb your heart, your soul will want to worship Him, yes worship Him. John who saw in a vision writes:
And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people.
After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.
As we partake together of Communion, the Lord’s Table we do so not only to ‘remember the Lord’s death’ but also as an act of worship to the Lamb of Glory.
We worship Jesus, Son of God, Lamb of Glory
In a loud voice they were saying: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”
Our prayer is a scripture reading of praise to this Lamb, our Lamb of Glory
Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”
The Good Friday earthquake 2000 years ago was physical and it was spiritual as well because it pointed out who Jesus was, the Creator, the slain lamb. This spiritual quake also resonated throughout the earth and has continued to ripple through the course of history. The aftershocks of Easter weekend still are being felt by millions each year as they were this year and even today. The Lamb of Glory, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, this is who we also remember today.
Know this that this blood is visible in heaven. Listen as we read one of the most dramatic passages of Scripture, a scene that John wrote down which is so other world, so holy and powerful:
Revelation 5 (NIV)
5 Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” 3 But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. 4 I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. 5 Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”
6 Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7 He went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. 8 And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. 9 And they sang a new song, saying:
“You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
because you were slain,
and with your blood you purchased for God
persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.
10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
and they will reign on the earth.”
11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12 In a loud voice they were saying:
“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and praise!”
13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:
“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be praise and honor and glory and power,
for ever and ever!”
14 The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.
For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’ ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’”
Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.
Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”
The Lamb of Glory, we remember, we will continue to remember and then we will see Him. Thank you Jesus for dying for us. AMEN and AMEN.
As well we watched an amazing video of John’s vision in heaven. Here’s
the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4CRvAPzxjI