Lesson 01: End of the World 01/03: The Lamb of God
Jesus is called "lamb" 28 times in the book of Revelation. Why is John so obsessed with seeing Jesus as a lamb? It's simple. Lambs were central to the ancient faith. It's specifically evident during an event called Passover. In the same way, that judgment passed over the houses in Egypt, death will pass over anyone who is covered by the blood of Jesus. That's why it's important that we start here. Revelation foretells death and sorrow on a massive scale, but we don't have to worry about it. Why? Because we are protected by the blood of the perfect Lamb.
Large Group Instructions
Tell a story of fear or concern over the message of Revelation — for me it was after reading a book series called “Left Behind.”
Have you ever taken a really good nap? You know, the kind that feels like a time machine into the future. You wake up groggy, foggy, and unaware of what day is on the calendar.
Once, when I was young, I took one of those intense naps. Exhausted from a soccer game, I collapsed onto my bed. Hours passed before I woke up to see darkness outside my window. Scared of missing dinner, I ran downstairs to look for my mother.
She wasn't there. I looked for my dad or brother, but they weren't home either. Suddenly, the silence of my house became scary.
I remembered a book I read where everyone disappeared from earth to kick off the apocalypse. A viral book series called "Left Behind" shared the terrifying tale of people who were — well — left behind after the rapture. What is the rapture? This is the moment when Christians are called home before the terrible events of Revelation (Revelation 3:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:17). The rapture is an expression of God's mercy, but it still terrified me as a young child trying to make sense of faith.
Back to the story. At that moment, I was convinced that I was left behind to suffer through the final judgment of man. Standing at the kitchen window in my soccer uniform, shock swept over me.
What was I going to do?
How would I fight in a war?
Did I accidentally take the mark of the beast?
My mental breakdown was interrupted by a wonderful sight.
Like a sign from heaven, I saw my mom's red van pull into the driveway. It turns out it wasn't the end of the world.
My mom was just getting groceries.
I know this seems silly. But, as a kid, I was terrified of the end times.
The earth's future, as predicted in Revelation, consumed my imagination.
To summarize the Book of Revelation, things get really bad before they get really good.
When you're reading Revelation, things will seem scary.
The end times are marked by chaos and conflict on a universal scale.
These visions aren't in scripture to scare us; they're actually there to soothe us.
The book of Revelation is unlike any other book in the New Testament.
Similar to a few Old Testament prophets like Daniel and Ezekiel, Revelation doesn't report on the past.
Instead, it foresees the future.
Prophetic visions flashed before the eyes of the Apostle John while on the Island of Patmos.
He was not there on vacation; he was actually there to die.
His time on the island was a form of ancient torture.
John was imprisoned on a deserted island due to the extreme persecution that plagued the early church.
The book of Revelation is part of a literary genre called "Apocalypse."
Based on an Old English word, apokaluptein, this means to "uncover or reveal."
It's like the future of humanity is hidden under a sheet, and the Apostle John snatches the fabric in a series of visions to uncover our future.
John's complicated book compiles complex visions of Christ's future victory.
These prophecies discuss the imminent battle between God and Satan, good and evil, and heaven and hell.
Visions of monsters, beasts, and war pack every page, but they're not solely designed to be deciphered like a prophetic puzzle.
Revelation offers us so much more than that. It assures us that victory belongs to Jesus.
Yes, things will get wild. Hell will break loose, and heaven will rise.
But after the smoke clears and the battle ends, we win in the end.
Satan will be defeated. God's Kingdom will be established.
The book of Revelation claims a clear message using complex imagery — Jesus reigns supreme now and forever. It's not about horror; it's about hope.
Look at this hopeful passage that kicks off the conflict of Revelation.
Throughout our study of Revelation, we will see three powerful visions of Jesus.
As we kick off the study, let's explore how John envisions Jesus in chapter five -- as a lion and a lamb. What is the meaning behind these metaphors?
Let's explore what John sees.
Jesus is called "lamb" 28 times in the book of Revelation.
Why was John so obsessed with seeing Jesus as a lamb?
It's simple. Lambs were central to the Jewish faith. It's specifically evident during an event called Passover.
This celebration remembered Israel's escape from slavery in Egypt.
How did God do it? By sending ten plagues to rock Pharaoh's kingdom.
The last and most devastating was when death came upon every household in Egypt except the people who had spread the blood of a lamb on the doorposts of their homes (Exodus 12:12–13; 21–23 ; 29- 46).
Death did not enter the homes of people who were covered by sacrificial blood. Passover foreshadowed the True Passover Lamb.
This principle is all over scripture.
John the Baptist announced Jesus as the Lamb of God (John 1:29).
Peter calls Jesus an "unblemished lamb" (1 Peter 1:19).
And Jesus was even killed during the Passover Feast (Mark 14:12–25).
While interesting, what does this mean for us?
In the same way that judgment passed over the houses in Egypt, death will pass over anyone who is covered by the blood of Jesus.
That's why we must start here.
Revelation foretells death and sorrow on a massive scale, but we don't have to worry about it.
Why? Because we are protected by the blood of the perfect Lamb.
Do not despair; you are safe in your Savior's hands.
Yes, Jesus is a lamb, but there is so much more to the story. Take a look at another animal metaphor used by John.
There is no question that Revelation's words are worrisome. Here is some good news, though.
Because of Jesus, you won't have to experience any of it.
In chapter five, John sees a vision of a royal court with elders and creatures surrounding Jesus.
They all begin to sing, "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" (Revelation 5:9).
John's language is packed full of parallels. He calls Jesus both a lamb who brings peace and a lion who fights for justice.
All of this imagery reads like a royal banquet. Do you see it?
Jesus is surrounded by guard animals and a council.
At the center of this scene is a scroll with seven seals on it.
Like the sword in the stone or Cinderella's slipper, there is only one person who is worthy to break open the scroll to unleash the judgment in Revelation.
Christ seats Himself on the throne and breaks open the seals.
This is a central shift in the story of Revelation.
Jesus has gone from Lamb to lion.
He's now God's ordained warrior who will bring justice to all humanity.
John's vision gets even more extravagant. He writes, "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. In a loud voice, they were saying, "Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain" (Revelation 5:10-11).
The whole royal court begins to worship Jesus, the one worthy to break the scroll and usher in God's final judgment.
Celebration intensifies when thousands of angels join in on the song.
Can't you just feel the power jumping off the pages?
A legion of angels perform a concert in the heavens with one central theme: Jesus is worthy.
This brings us to our final principle.
The English word "worship" is derived from Old English worthscipe, meaning "worthiness."
Simply put, worship means to give something of worth.
Our worship is not simply giving worth to "something," but "some One."
We are called to worthscipe the Almighty, the Lamb, the Lion, and the Supreme King of the Universe — Jesus.
When we truly grasp who Christ is, all He has done, and what He's doing in the future, worship is our only natural response.
When everything seems like it's falling apart, worship Jesus. He is worthy and will make things right.
When injustice is all over the place, worship Jesus. He is the roaring lion who will ensure justice wins.
When it feels like sin is dragging you back in, worship Jesus. He is the Lamb who secured eternity for you.
When the words of Revelation seem frightening, worship Jesus. He has ensured that you will not have to experience the apocalypse.
Most people assume you would kick off a study on Revelation with complex symbols and visions of war. Yes, that is certainly coming, but there is a theme that's far more prevalent — worship.
Almost every time John gets a vision of heaven, God's throne, or King Jesus, it's always marked with worship.
Revelation is an invitation to worship.
Jesus is worthy of your worship.
Jesus is worthy to open the scroll. Jesus is worthy of our loudest song.
Jesus alone is worthy of praise on a universal scale.
Small Group Instructions
TALK IT OUT Go through these questions with your circle. Be honest. Be open. Talk through the tough stuff.
Ice Breaker: Go around your circle and share this week’s highs and lows. What was the best part of your week and what was the lowest part of your week?
Q1: What is one thing that stood out to you from today’s message?
Q2: Why is Jesus called “The Lamb?”
Q3: Jesus was called “The Lamb" 23 times in Revelation. Why do you think that’s significant?
Q4: Why is Jesus called “The Lion?”
Q5: A major theme of Revelation is worship. What does that mean for us today?
Application: How can you find ways to worship Jesus outside of church this week? Commit to worshipping in that way every day this week.
This reading plan includes:
Daniel 12:1-13 2 Peter 3:8-13 Revelation 1:4-8 Daniel 11:5-4 Ezekiel 20:4-9 Matthew 23:37-39 Daniel 11:32
Do the following with each passage:
ASK– God to connect with you here. In prayer, start by slowing down and inviting God to be present. Begin with focus and openness to see what God has for you today.
READ– the selected section of Scripture slowly. Take note of the words and phrases that intrigue you, reading them a second time if necessary.
REFLECT– on what grabs you. How does this passage personally relate to your own life and experiences?
RESPOND– to the Scripture. Speak directly to God about what’s on your mind and heart. Look for ways to live out what you’ve uncovered.
About For Ministry Resources Youth Series
FMR develops a monthly youth ministry curriculum that is free to all local churches. Each monthly release includes a sermon series, small group series, Bible devotional, and supporting graphics packs that are original, practical, and ready to use.