Singing a New Song

Dr. Kevin DeYoung, Senior Pastor

Revelation 5:9-14 | April 17 - Sunday Morning,

Sunday Morning,
April 17
Singing a New Song | Revelation 5:9-14
Dr. Kevin DeYoung, Senior Pastor

Our scripture text this morning comes from Revelation chapter 5. We’ve already read and have sung some of these songs of the redeemed in Revelation 4 and 5, and at our Good Friday service on Friday afternoon we preached from the first eight verses in Revelation chapter 5, and now we’re going to continue with verses 9 through 14 at the end of the chapter.

Revelation chapter 5, beginning at verse 9. The very last book in the Bible. Chapter 5. Verse 9.

“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 you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.””

“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.”

Let’s pray. Come now fount of every blessing, tune our hearts, O Lord, to sing Thy grace. Streams of mercy never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise. Teach us some melodious sonnet sung by flaming tongues above. Praise the mount, we are fixed upon it, mount of God’s redeeming love. We ask for Your help. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Several years ago I was visiting England. I was there for a number of weeks, preaching and doing various things around the country, and I was returning one night by train, back to London where I was staying, and I was coming back from a smaller town, so I was at a small train station. It’s very easy to get around the UK by trains running throughout big cities, but all along the countryside. It was dark, it was getting late, and this small platform at this small station had been relatively sparse and quiet. There were just a few of us standing there when suddenly our silence was interrupted by loud and boisterous singing. Up on the platform came a couple dozen young men singing very loudly and very poorly.

Thankfully, it seems as though they were happy. They were also drunk. They had, I deduced, come from a local football, parentheses soccer, game. It was a somewhat rowdy scene, but I was glad that they seemed to be happy, these young, erratic men, and at least seemed to be in a good mood instead of a bad mood as they swung about their scarves and other things and sang very loudly there on the platform. I was glad a few minutes later when I was on a train going somewhere where they weren’t. I don’t think that that’s a particularly unusual scene in England. Some of our Brits can correct me if I’m wrong later.

And yet it’s always a bit surprising when you are in some public place and it’s quiet and all of a sudden you hear a group of people loudly singing. Think about it. There aren’t very many places where large groups of people come together to sing. Now most everyone likes music, you sing to yourself in the shower, you listen to music in the car, you listen to music from your phone. There are plenty of TV shows, competitions, about singers.

But there aren’t many things that bring people together in large groups to sing the same song. Now it’s true if you’re in school and you’re in a choir or you’re some sort of professional musician, but really the occasions are few and far between for most of us. It’s “Happy Birthday” at a party. Or like these men were doing, some sort of sporting event. Maybe you’re there, you sing the national anthem, or maybe in college you know your team’s fight song, but that’s about it.

There’s a reason that some of these clips on YouTube go viral of these flash mobs. You have all of these clandestine singers who are just out among the Sbarro’s and the Panda’s Express in a mall somewhere and then they all come together and they sing some brilliant piece of classic music.

When I was in college, I was in our chapel choir and we’d go on tours and around spring break. It’d be churches, but sometimes it’d be public venues. One time we went to Europe and we took a ship across from the Netherlands to England overnight and you felt like you sort of had superpowers, these 50 people who could sing. So we got on the deck of the boat and we all started singing and at least it seemed to us that the other 10 people listening were really enjoying it. But we felt good about ourselves.

These flash mobs, these clips on the internet, go viral because it’s unusual. You don’t have very often in public places singing. Most people don’t sing together in any collective sense very often.

Unless you’re Christians, and we sing all the time. Every Sunday. Every service. Lots of songs. If you’re visiting this morning or new to the church, it may be one of the things that seems strange, all of these people singing these songs. Where else do so many people come together to sing the same song. It’s what Christians do all the time and the Bible tells us it’s what we will do for all time.

Every Christian sings. Some of you sing well, some of you, you sound good to Jesus. But we sing. God wired us for song. He made singing as a powerful, expressive, unison way for people to honor God at the same time. We can just about make it through the Apostles’ Creed if the words are on the screen and repeat it and say it together in unison and sort of hold together, and maybe some of us have it memorized, but that’s about one of the few spoken things we would have memorized, and yet so many of us have all sorts of songs memorized.

That’s the power of music, and because of the notes and the meter, we could all burst into song and sing it together. It’s the way God wired us. Singing is meant to be the overflow of happiness.

Or sometimes it is the overflow of lament. It is, on many occasions, this spilling of over of worship. You may not have noticed before. One of the most frequent commands in the Bible is to sing. It’s one of the few things we know for sure about heaven. There’s lots of things we’d like to know about heaven and we deduce some things and eventually the new heavens and the new earth come down, so heaven will come to earth.

But what is it like right now for your loved ones who died in the Lord? What will it be like for us? We don’t know a lot of details, but we know that they’re singing. For some of you, that’s great because you’ve always liked singing, and others, you say, “Oh, really, it’s just one long choir rehearsal?”

Well, think of it not so much as a choir rehearsal, unless you like choir, and I do, but as the natural overflow of joy. What else would you do in the presence of the One who sits on the throne and the Lamb except burst forth in song?

Here in Revelation 4 and 5 there are five hymns. I hope you have your Bible open and you can see in the Bible, and it’s pretty easy to detect, because these hymns are set apart with special sort of indentation because they’re like poems. The first two in chapter 4 are actually poems. We’re not told that they’re songs, but we’re right to put the five together as some kind of chants, hymns of worship.

You see in chapter 4 verse 8, there’s the first. In chapter 4 verse 11, the second. Chapter 5 verse 9, the third. Chapter 5 verse 12, the fourth. Chapter 5 verse 13, the fifth. Five songs in Revelation 4 and 5. We’re going to look at just the last three, the ones that we read in chapter 5.

Notice about this first song in chapter 5, the one that begins in verse 9. It is called a new song, “and they sang,” verse 9, “a new song.” The Psalms often exhort us “sing a new song to the Lord.” In the Old Testament, new songs were sung as a response to some new work of God in redemption. It’s not the newness itself that matters so much as it is as a response to the newness of what God has done to save His people.

The first extended song in the Bible that we know and declared as a song is found in Exodus 15, and it’s no coincidence. It’s after that great of deliverance when the Lord set free the Israelites, drowned the Egyptians in the Red Sea. Exodus 15 – “I will sing to the Lord for He has triumphed gloriously. The horse and his rider, He has thrown into the sea. The Lord is my strength and my song and He has become my salvation. This is my God and I will praise Him, my father’s God and I will exalt Him.”

This song here in Revelation 5 is called a new song. Now you see that many of the words are actually words that have already been sung in chapter 4, but it’s called a new song because it is in response to this new act of redemption accomplished by the Lord Jesus Christ.

Go back up to chapter 5 verse 2, and we’ve already sung these words: A mighty angel proclaims with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?”

That is, who has the divine right to reveal and execute God’s plan of judgment and salvation? That’s what’s contained in the scrolls. God’s plan of judgment and salvation. Who can unveil it, reveal it, put it into practice? No angel can do it. None of the living creatures can do it. None of the 24 elders can do it. Why 24? Because it’s symbolic for the Old and the New Testament, the 12 tribes of Israel, the 12 Apostles of the Lord Jesus. None of these 24 elders can do it. Who is worthy? The new song gives the answer. The four living creatures, the 24 elders, fall down before the Lamb and they sing, “You, Jesus, You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals.” This is something new.

And why is the Lamb worthy? Notice the first reason here. “For,” you see that little word, that’s indicating a ground, a reason, a rationale, You are worthy why, “for You were slain.” The book of Hebrews tells us that the death of Jesus, the spotless Lamb of God, qualified Him to be the author of our salvation, the executor of God’s eternal purposes.

It’s no overstatement to say that the entire fate of the universe was resting on Jesus’ beaten shoulders, in His crucified hands, in His willingness to suffer. He is worthy because He was slain.

But that’s not all. “For You were slain,” and here’s a second reason He’s worthy, “and by Your blood You ransomed people for God, people from every tribe and language and people and nation.” We have to get this straight. Jesus was not simply an innocent martyr. He was a victim in the sense that He didn’t deserve in Himself to die, but the Scripture makes clear that He gave himself up willingly, of His own volition.

We would mistake what Good Friday and Easter are about if we think of Jesus as just a noble martyr, just a good man who suffered. Many people, and many churches, all around the world, mistake that what this week is really about is simply to feel sorry for Jesus. There’s a very striking scene as Jesus is being led to the cross and the women are crying there, and He says, “No, don’t, don’t cry for Me. Cry for yourselves and for your sins and for the judgment that is coming.” Jesus did not give His life on the cross so that He might have a great cosmic pity party.

Now, yes, we are right to weep and to mourn for His death, but it isn’t simply that He suffered. Many other people died the death of a crucifixion. In fact, what’s noted in the Gospels is how sort the crucifixion was, that they went and already He was dead. That they went and they were going to break His legs, it was an act of mercy to break a man’s bones on the cross, because as long as you still had strength in your legs you could sort of lift yourself up and gather some breath in your lungs, just instinctively the human body gasping for breath, so that you might be on the cross not just for hours but for days. But they came, and He was already dead.

It was a unique death, not because in just the physicality of it. Jesus suffered more than anyone else. Yes, it was gruesome, it was graphic. But because in His body and His soul He sustained not just physical torment, but the just wrath of God upon sin.

So the reason that the Lamb is worthy is not simply because He suffered. Many good people have suffered in history. There are many, many sad stories of good people who died too soon. Suffering in itself does not make one worthy. Jesus didn’t die so we would feel sorry for Him, He died to accomplish this great end that by His death He would purchase people from every tribe and language and people and nation. That through not only His death but His resurrection He would prove that death has no power over the grave, that if you belong to Christ, it’s not simply that God woke up one morning and said, “You know what? Your sin, it’s not a big deal. Forget about it.”

No, He said in Christ My wrath is not turned away, it has been spent, so that to forgive you in Jesus now is an act of justice, because everything that you know deep in your heart that you deserve, that I deserve, Christ has paid for. He’s purchased us.

Look there at verse 9. You hear a lot in our day about diversity. For some of you that immediately says, “Yes, that’s a good word. I like that.” Other people get very nervous about the word. But here you see the kind of diversity that honors God, because verse 9 makes absolutely clear that our God is no tribal deity. He is a cosmic God. He’s not just for white people or for black people, or for rich people or for poor people, for all people.

The Church must always have ethical boundaries, theological boundaries, but the Church must never have national, racial, or ethnic boundaries. The diversity here is good because it is a diversity in unity.

See, diversity itself is never the goal. Hell is going to be just as diverse as heaven. What makes the picture of diversity in Revelation so glorious is that these people, who would have no earthly reason to be singing any song together, they’re not from the same country, they’re not from the same ethnicity, they don’t have the same skin color, they don’t even speak the same language, what could possibly bring them together to sing the same song? Well, Jesus can.

All of these different people, caught up doing the same thing, worshiping Jesus. God is making a people for Himself from every color and language. Not to prove the world’s point about some banal multiculturalism, but to bring glory to the Lamb. Look at all these people who have no business being together, but they’ve come together because Christ is worthy.

Notice, third, He is worthy because He has made us to be a kingdom and priest to our God, verse 10. We are made kings to rule, priests to serve.

If you ever struggle with thinking, is there anything really special about me? Is my life really worth anything? Consider, if you’re a Christian, that Jesus has already made you a king who will one day rule on the earth and a priest who has access to the holy of holies, that holiest of place, which the high priest could only enter into once a year and that with the sacrifice of bulls and goats God has given you that access to His throne that we might have unceasing worship.

This language of being a kingdom and priest to our God was initially a promise to Israel. It was given there in Exodus 19 when God’s people, the nation of Israel, were gathered together at Mount Sinai, about to receive the Mosaic covenant and the 10 commandments spoke to them. This was Israel’s great privilege, that of all the peoples on the earth, they were God’s treasured possession, a kingdom and priests to their God.

But now we see this great privilege that was there for the nation of Israel in the Old Testament has by God’s grace now been granted to the redeemed from every nation, to belong to the people of God. It’s not an ethnic thing, it’s a Jesus thing. It’s for everyone who has been washed in the blood of the Lamb and will sing to Him a new song.

Look next in verse 12. The second song is a variation on the first. The chorus is swelling from the four living creatures, the 24 elders. Now we have an incalculable number of angels, myriads, myriads. We might say stadiums full of angels, and they, too, “Hail, worthy is the Lamb who was slain.” But notice, instead of singing why the Lamb is worthy, that was the first song, “for You were slain, for You ransomed people, for You made them a kingdom.” Now instead of singing “why” they simply sing “that He is worthy.” The Lamb is given a sevenfold ascription of praise.

It’s very similar to the prayer that David offers to the Lord, to Yahweh, in 1 Chronicles 29. That’s striking because it means what David said in the Old Testament about Yahweh, the covenant God of Israel, heaven is now singing about Jesus. Jesus is worthy to receive, you see these seven words? Power, wealth, wisdom, might, honor, glory, blessing. He’s worthy.

You may notice these three middle songs are all about the worthiness of God. Look at verse 11: Worthy are You. Chapter 5 verse 9: Worthy are You. Chapter 5 verse 12: Worthy is the Lamb.

There’s a pattern. The first and the fifth songs are about eternity. You see the first song in chapter 4 verse 8 – the Lord Almighty who was and is and is to come. That’s talking about the Lord’s eternality. Then the fifth song, blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever. So these five hymns are bracketed with eternity in the first and the fifth song, and the middle ones, two, three, and four, all ascribe worth.

The English word, in fact, “worship,” the etymology is that it comes from “worth ship.” What are we doing when we worship God? We’re saying, “You are worthy.” That’s what worship is. It’s giving God what is due to Him. It’s not giving Him something that He doesn’t already possess. It’s ascribing to Him what is already true.

Or when we say we magnify the name of the Lord our God. It’s the magnification of a telescope, not of a microscope. When you magnify with a microscope, you make very, very tiny things look big. When you magnify with a telescope, you make unimaginably massive things, which you in your finite human eye can barely detect, you now make visible. We magnify the worth of God like a telescope, not a microscope. He is unimaginably worthy.

And when it says that the Lamb receives all of these virtues, this sevenfold blessing, it is to ascribe to Him what He already possesses. Jesus is more powerful than any president or prime minister. He’s wealthier than Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk, and if He wanted to buy Twitter, He could, though I wouldn’t recommend it, and the board of directors couldn’t stop Him.

He’s wiser than the combined intellect of every Ph.D. at every school in the country. He’s stronger than the largest army. Deserving of more honor than any face you might see on a coin or a piece of money, or any name that’s given to a holiday in this country or any country. He’s deserving of more notoriety than Tiger Woods or Ronaldo or Coach K. He’s deserving of more fawning adulation than is given to the favorite movie star or pop idol. All glory is given to the Lamb.

Whatever good you think Jesus has, He has more. Whatever honor you think He deserves, it is not enough. He is worthy to receive every accolade and every reward, every award, every ascription of praise we could think to heap upon Him and more. It is an absolute certainty that everyone in this room, no matter how long you’ve been a Christian, no matter how many songs you’ve sung, how many sermons you’ve preached, it is an absolute certainty that everyone in this room thinks too little of Jesus.

You cannot think of Him too highly. You cannot sing songs to Him too gustily. Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.

Then you notice the third song, it’s the climax of chapters 4 and 5. These five hymns, the praise has crescendoed now to include all living things. No living thing is silent when it comes to praise now, our triune God, the One who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.

You notice in verse 13, “I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them” now are singing this song. It is a picture of eternal reality, unceasing worship of Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb. Every angelic being, every redeemed human being, indeed all created things, gathering to sing.

Once the curse has been fully reversed, all the pain and anguish of sin and death in this world, there will be nothing left but praise, from all things. Every cricket rubs its legs together to sing to Jesus. Every robin clears its throat to make music for God. Every frog will croak for the Lamb. Every firefly will light up in praise to Jesus Christ. No living thing will fail to ascribe praise and honor and glory and power to Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb.

Three songs here in chapter 5, the culmination of five hymns in chapters 4 and 5. Let me bring this home with three concluding thoughts. Three concluding thoughts.

One. True worship is what you really need.

Now you’re mindful of certain things that you need. Of course, we need food, we need shelter, we need clothing. Maybe you need to get into a school. Maybe you think you need a husband or wife. Maybe you think a better diagnosis. There’s lots of things that we do need. Maybe you just need a friend.

But what we truly need is worship. Why do I say that? Because chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation, this famous section where Jesus gives seven letters to the seven churches, these seven cities in Asia Minor now, modern-day Turkey. These are representative churches. They were real churches. And the angel of the church, some people think that was even just a spiritual reference to the pastor of the churches. Whoever it was, these were seven real churches with seven real letters from the Lord Jesus.

But we see in chapters 2 and 3 in these seven churches, they have all sorts of problems. All sorts of issues. And in these seven churches are the types of issues that we find in all churches at all times. These are universal.

The church of Ephesus was loveless. It had a lot of good things, they were doctrinally sound, but they were navel gazing. They had lost their first love.

The church at Smyrna was a vibrant church, but a fearful church. They were facing persecution.

The church at Pergamum was a witnessing church, they witnessed to Christ, but they were undiscerning. They were in danger of heresy.

The church at Thyatira was a loving church, but they were over-tolerant. Jesus actually says, “I have this against you, you’re too tolerant.” They were tolerant of sexual immorality.

The church at Sardis was the church of the white-washed tombs. They looked big and impressive. They probably had a massive orchestra on Easter Sunday, but their danger was hypocrisy.

The church at Philadelphia was a struggling, strong church, facing weakness, smallness.

The seventh, the church of Laodicea, was affluent but apathetic, facing the lethargy that often settles in among a people who have peace and prosperity.

You see in these seven churches you have the temptations and the struggles that will be true of God’s church in any age – lovelessness, persecution, heresy, tolerance of immorality, hypocrisy, weakness, apathy, lethargy. Those are still the problems in Christ’s church.

But you turn the page from chapter 2 and 3 to chapters 4 and 5 – After this, I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven.

Do you understand the juxtaposition of 2 and 3, 4 and 5. You say, “Yes, I get it, 4 and 5 come after 2 and 3.” But there’s a reason here. Here’s the seven churches, all of their problems which will be true throughout human history, for Christ’s Church on earth.

Now what is the solution? Now certainly there’s a lot of things and you must pray, and you can strategize, and you can read your Bible more… All of those things are necessary.

But here’s what they needed most and what we need most, and that is to look up and see a door standing open in heaven.

The point of Revelation 4 and 5 is that if you want to make it as a Christian, because each of these seven letters end with “To him who overcomes, to him who overcomes,” if you want to be an overcomer and not a succumber, then you need a glimpse of a big, glorious God.

Sometimes pastors are quick to rush to points of application – Well, here’s what you’ve got to do, here’s the three things you should do this week, and you should pray more, you should read your Bible more, and all of that is fine.

But sometimes the application that you need in your life is more of God in your life. To see God for who He is, the way to overcome is to live and to die in view of the glorious picture of Him who sits on the throne and the Lamb who was slain. We need a glimpse of worship.

Here’s the second point. True worship gives honor to Jesus.

Everyone worships. We were not only made to worship, you could say we were made worshiping.

At the start of every service here at Christ Covenant we have a call to worship, and that’s good. It’s God calling us to worship. In a way, though, all of you already come worshiping. You’re already worshiping something. You already have some object of your highest affection. You have someone or something or some idea or some possession that animates you, that motivates you. If I only had blank, I would be happy. That blank is probably your God. Or if I ever lost blank, I could never be happy again. That’s your God.

We come worshiping.

Everyone gives supreme honor to someone or something. This chapter, and really the whole book of Revelation, makes clear time and time again, only when you worship the Lamb are you worshiping God rightly.

This scene in chapter 5 is not a generic picture of generic worship to a generic, benevolent deity of our own creation, some great power in the sky, the big man upstairs. No, this is a picture of specific praise to Jesus Christ for His death, redemption, and resurrection.

Don’t miss this on Easter Sunday, where people are prone to deal in abstractions and generalities and spiritual vagaries. The power of positive thinking did not rise from the dead. Spirituality did not stride forth from the tomb. A religious metaphor did not conquer the grave. It was a man named Jesus of Nazareth, born of a woman, suffered and died under Pontius Pilate. A man, the God-man, who died for sins according to the Scriptures and rose again on the third day.

If you are to be a true worshiper of the true God, you must worship His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s crystal clear in Revelation.

Here’s a final concluding thought for you. True worship puts us on the right side of history.

You’ve heard that phrase, “the right side of history.” It can be annoying phrase. The problem, the problem is not to want to be on the right side of history, the problem is that it is often said very presumptuously. We presume to know what people will think, “X position is the right side of history,” as if we knew what people a hundred years were going to think. Obviously, the good and true position for all time is what I believe. But we can’t know the right side of history unless, of course, the God who stands outside of history shows us the end of history.

Did you notice how these five hymns deliberately build to a crescendo? Look in chapter 4 verse 8. You notice who’s singing? “And the four living creatures.” This is imagery from Ezekiel, these are four strange-looking creatures, angelic, heavenly beings, the four living creatures are singing.

Well, then what happens? Verse 9. Whenever the living creatures give glory, verse 10, now the 24 elders, again symbolic for the Church, symbolic for the Church, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 Apostles of the Lamb. 24 is a symbolic number for the Church. Now they fall down and worship Him who was seated on the throne, and they sing.

So four living creatures, sing. 24 elders say, “We gotta get in on that,” then they take a turn and sing. Go to chapter 5 verse 6, “And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders, I saw the Lamb.” Verse 8, “And when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the 24 elders fell down before the Lamb and they sang.” So four living creatures sing, in response 24 elders sing, now in chapter 5 together the four living creatures and the 24 elders. Well, look what happens next, verse 11 – “I looked and heard around the throne and the living creatures,” they’re still singing, “and the elders,” they’re still singing. Now we add to the choir “the voice of many angels numbering myriads of myriads, thousands of thousands,” stadiums upon stadiums of angels, now they sing with a loud voice.

But the choir isn’t done yet. There’s one more swelling symphony. Verse 13 – “And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, singing to Him who sits on the throne and to the lamb.”

Four living creatures, ahhh. 24 elders, ahhh. Together, four living creatures, 24 elders. No, that’s not enough. The angels start elbowing each other, “We gotta get in on this song.” They join, myriads upon myriads, until finally every living creature says, “We’re not going to leave it to the angels, we’re not going to leave it to the living creatures or the elders. We need to get in on singing glory to Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb.”

So it’s fitting that verse 14 would conclude, “The four living creatures said “So it is!”” That’s what amen means. Let it be. It is so.

And the elders fell down and worshiped. It is literally a symphony of more voices, more instruments, more noise being added with each verse until finally the strings are humming, the trumpets are blasting, the cymbals are crashing, the voices are crying out in praise to Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb. What a sound it must be.

What a joy it is that we can add our voice to that heavenly choir. Here imperfectly, here through a glass dimly, but there perfectly and eternally in heaven.

That is the right side of history. That’s where all human history is going. Whatever you’re seeing on the news about all the catastrophes in our day. Care about those, that’s good. Think about those, pray about those. We got inflation, we got Ukraine, we got shootings. We’ve got all sorts of problems, but here’s where you know history is going, and this is what your life ought to be about. Friends, it’s what your life was made for.

You try to put yourself at the center of the universe, you won’t be happy. That was the life of the garden. Adam and Eve, no, you can choose for yourself what’s good and evil. You can be God-like.

No, you don’t need to because you’re already made in the image of God. You’re not God, you’re in the image of God. You don’t need to try to be God, you need to be who you are in the image of God, not at the center.

It’s so clear in chapter 4 every direction is given relative to the throne. Around the throne four living creatures. Around the throne 24 elders. Around the throne the seven living spirits. Around the throne a rainbow and a sea of glass and emerald, clear as crystal. All of it, the throne is the center. You and I are not meant to be the center of the story. Your feelings are not the point of the story.

But here’s the good news – God cares about you and your feelings. And we can join with the whole purpose of human history.

So the question for you on this Easter morning – will you join and sing the song of the ages? I mean really sing it. Really mean it. Really believe it. Will you sing the song that you were meant to sing? The song of the redeemed, the song of the Lamb, the son that never ends.

Let’s pray. Our heavenly Father, we give glory to You, together with the Son and the Holy Spirit, one God in three persons, and what we can do here in part we will look forward to doing in full for all eternity, to worship You. Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing. You are worthy. Amen.