One thing about the way we are built is this:
We get immune to outrageous claims over time.
In some ways it’s a good thing. A defense mechanism. Because outrageous things happen to us. And they don’t always feel real at first. One of the ways that we get used to even the most unexpected thing, by saying it over and over again.
When crazy changes have happened in my life, some times there’s this broken record in the back of my brain. It just says the truth over and over and over again. And eventually I start to accept it.
But the other side of this is that we get immune to things that should bring about a sense of awe and wonder. There are these images and phrases and ideas that should shock us. But we say them so often we don’t notice them anymore.
Try this on for size:
A cow is sitting in the oval office and she is the president of the United States.
That paints a picture in my brain that belongs in a Dr. Suess book. Can you imagine it? A big giant bovine sitting at that great big desk, utters spilling onto the desk calendar, seal of the oval office on the shiny floor.
And yet this image is less crazy than the one painted in the book of Revelations.
There is a lamb on the throne, and Jesus is that Lamb, and only the lamb is worthy.
Those of us who have been at the whole Christianity thing for a while do this instant act of mental translation. We think Jesus = The Lamb. And so when we read that the lamb is on the throne, we just substitute Jesus’ name where the word ‘the lamb’ is written.
But that’s not what John wrote. John wrote something both mysterious and outrageous. The Lamb is on the throne. And only the lamb is worthy.
How could Jesus be the lamb? How could a lamb be worthy of anything other than being our lunch? Why would all those cosmically powerful beings be singing to it?
God tells us to listen with fresh ears and to watch with fresh eyes. This is so that we might see the mystery.