The Song of Redemption
Revelation 5:8-10
And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps…

I. WHAT THE HEAVENLY SINGERS THINK OF THEIR REDEEMER, OR WHOM THEY TAKE HIM TO BE. The very words, "Thou," "He," "Him," imply that their Redeemer is a person — a living being — who has willed their good, and to whom grateful acknowledgments are due. But whom do these saints take their Redeemer to be? They call Him "Lord" and they call him "Lamb." They would not call Jesus "Lord," especially in the presence of the Eternal Throne, and in the very same breath with which they say, "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come," if they were not assured that He still thinks it is no robbery to be equal with God. They would not call Jesus "Lamb" if they did not recognise In Him that true human nature which He wore on earth, when John called Him "the Lamb of God," and in which He made Himself an offering for sin.

II. HOW THIS SONG DESCRIBES THE MANNER AND THE NATURE OF REDEMPTION. "Thou wast slain." Death is a very common thing in this world's history. Nor is it even an uncommon thing to be slain! In this wicked world life has been the frequent victim of violence. There is nothing, then, in the purity of Christ's character to make it surprising that "He was slain." But numerous as have been the martyrdoms of the world, and honoured and blessed as are the martyrs before God, there is only one of them whose honours are celebrated in heaven. And He is Jesus Christ. There must be something peculiar in His martyrdom, something to single it out from every other. The next note of the song reveals the peculiarity of the death of Christ — "Thou hast redeemed us by Thy blood." If Christ has ten thousand fellow martyrs, He has not one fellow redeemer. He gave His life a ransom for many, and by that ransom the many are redeemed. The words of the song of redemption, while they distinguish the death of Christ from every other, teach us the true nature of the redemption of which the gospel tells us. It is a redemption by blood, and of consequence we know that it must be a redemption from guilt. The poet and the sentimentalist may dream of a redemption of which he has some vague sense of need, but which he does not understand; the gospel believer rejoices in a redemption which is felt by him a simple reality, and in virtue of which he stands pardoned and sanctified before his Maker


1. "Thou hast redeemed us to God." There is something remarkably instructive in this little phrase — "to God." They were lost to God — His creatures, but, in the strictest sense of the terms, "unprofitable servants," "cumberers of His ground." Again, they were enemies to God. And in that position they were separated from God, both by their own enmity and by the legal liabilities of their guilt. They had wandered from their centre, and, consequently, out of their orbit, they were wandering in darkness; the moral world within them was reduced to disorder, chaos, and death. But now restored, the light of God shines full upon them, and order, beauty, and life again adorn and animate the soul. Redeemed to God, they are redeemed into a state of nearness to Him whose infinite fulness supplies a universe with good, and are the objects of His love whose favour is life, whose loving-kindness is better than life.

2. They have been made kings unto God. That is, they have been exalted to a state of royal, or more than royal honour. They may have been slaves on earth, they are kings in heaven.

3. And, as their song intimates, they are priests likewise. They realise in its fullest import the prayer of David (Psalm 27:4). Not some, but all the redeemed are priests unto God. Such are the perfected fruits of redemption.

IV. CONSIDER THE PRAISE WHICH IS OFFERED TO CHRIST ON THE GROUND OF THE REDEMPTION WHICH HE HAS WROUGHT. The very angels, with voices whose number is ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands, say "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain," etc. It is not the redeemed alone that say this — there can be no suspicion that grateful emotion exaggerates the benefit, or is too lavish of its praise. They that needed no redemption sing the praise of the Redeemer as well as those who were redeemed by His blood. There is no high quality manifested in the works of creation and providence which does not shine forth more illustriously in the work of redemption. Do you speak of power? It is here in all its irresistible might, as well as there, though in other forms. Do you speak of wisdom as manifested in the creation and government of the world? In the work of redemption you have the perfection of wisdom (Romans 11:33). Do you speak of holiness and righteousness? The song of creation and the song of providence will both embrace these attributes in tones of varied praise. But the song of redemption will speak of them with a fulness and emphasis all its own. Both Sinai and Calvary will be summoned to bear witness that God is a holy and righteous God. In conclusion, the very idea of song of redemption involves in it two great lessons.

1. It teaches us that we need redemption.

2. You are taught by this song of heaven that you are worth redeeming. Christ adjudges every one of them of more value than a world.

(John Kennedy, M. A.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

WEB: Now when he had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.

The Song of Redemption
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