They sang a new song, saying . . . with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. Revelation 5:9
A commercial jingle of the 1970s inspired a generation. Created as part of Coca Cola’s “The Real Thing” ad campaign, a British group called The New Seekers eventually sang it as a full-length song that climbed to the top of music charts around the world. But many will never forget the original television version sung by young people on a hilltop outside of Rome. Whimsical as it was, with visions of honeybees and fruit trees, we resonated with a songwriter’s desire to teach the world to sing with the heart and harmony of love.
The apostle John describes something like that idealized dream, only vastly greater. He envisioned a song sung by “every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them” (Revelation 5:13). There’s nothing whimsical about this anthem. Nothing could be more realistic than the price paid by the One to whom this song is sung. Neither could there be anything more foreboding than the visions of war, death, and consequence that His sacrifice of love would have to overcome.
Yet this is what it took for the Lamb of God to bear our sin and defeat death, overcome our fear of death, and teach all heaven and earth to sing—in perfect harmony.
What gives you cause to sing? What happens to your heart and mind when you embrace John’s vision of every created being singing in united praise of the Lamb and His love?
Father in heaven, please help me to sense the wonder of what You’ve done to give me a song that can be sung in joy by everyone and every living creature.
The central picture in Revelation 5 is the moving image of a slain yet living Lamb (v. 6) worshiped by all creation (v. 13). God’s people had long looked for the prophesied Messiah, the Lion of Judah (v. 5; Isaiah 11:1–9) to powerfully deliver them. Most assumed this Messiah, much like a lion, would conquer through force and vengeful violence. Instead, the Messiah, the Lion of Judah, was revealed to be a gentle Lamb, willing to give everything, even His own life, for the salvation of others. It’s only that Lamb who is found worthy to establish God’s justice and bring history to its long-awaited goal.