I recently checked out some survey data for a community here in my hometown. At number five on the list of life concerns were “Fear of the future and fear of the unknown.” If you were to survey that same community today I am sure that “fear of the future and fear of the unknown” would be a clear number one with all the questions about the future on our minds these days as we face the threat of the coronavirus.
Two thousand years ago, the apostle John was also feeling uncertainty and anxiety about the future. In a vision God gave him, he saw a scroll with the future recorded on it. But it was rolled up and sealed. The uncertainty of the future reduced John to fearful tears. He said, “I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside” (Revelation 5:4).
But when John finally wiped away his tears, he saw a Lamb which appeared to have been sacrificed but was alive and standing near the throne of God in heaven. And as the Lamb picked up the scroll, all of heaven broke into a joyful song with lyrics that went like this: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9).
The sacrificial Lamb next to God’s throne was Jesus whom the Bible calls “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). At the cross, Jesus took your place and died for all of your sins. It’s a great comfort to know that the one who holds the future in his hands is the God who loves you so much he suffered and died and rose again for you!
But it gets better. The Lamb in John’s vision opened the scroll. He revealed the future! And it is good news. Life will not be easy. But through it all the Lamb will be with you. Whatever comes, he will give you strength and comfort to get through it. And when death comes, he will share his victory over death with you and bring you to a life free of all danger and uncertainty forever in heaven.
Lamb of God, comfort me in these uncertain times by reminding me that my future is in your loving hands. Amen.