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Revelation 6:1-17

Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”

(verses 15-17)


“The wrath of the Lamb!” This is a face of Jesus I don’t usually contemplate.

My heart is warmed by his tenderness and grace revealed in the Gospels. His unhindered welcome of children into his presence. His friendship extended to tax-collectors and sinners, like Matthew-Levi at the tax booth or Zacchaeus up the tree. His forgiveness and restoration of the woman caught in adultery and of Peter caught in denial. Oh, and the “full extent of his love” poured out at the cross, a sacrifice beyond imagining, all to win redemption for a lost world that had rebelled against him, ignoring his voice, and turning aside from his lordship. Oh, what a Saviour! Jesus, Lover of my soul.

Yet, this very One is revealed here as pouring out judgement upon the earth. It’s a different face than I usually contemplate. But there is no contradiction, only the magnification of his Person, encompassing such depth of love, such permeating holiness, and such embrace of justice. This divine capacity is what brought him to the cross in the first place, right at the crux of his grace and justice. His sacrifice there was “propitiatory,” turning aside the just wrath of God out of deep love for those he came to save. But for those who refused his gift, the wrath remained, unturned.

The wrath is terrifying. In this passage, his wrath strikes right to the heart of every person, unredeemed, on planet Earth. All those who have held rank by consideration of heredity or position or power or wealth, together with the general populous, whether slave or free, are left quaking. There is a dawning certainty of the inevitability of judgement falling. Each one runs to hide, vainly crying to mountains and rocks to cover them, seeking to be hidden from impending doom. Indeed, what each one fears most is personal encounter with the face of God Almighty and, specifically, with the wrath of the Lamb.

This wrath remains Jesus’ “strange work” (Isaiah 28:21), for he came to save, not condemn. “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:17). Yet, in its time, when day has run out and night has come, when the final knock on the door has rung out, judgement is the only option that remains. At that point, the Lamb who was slain becomes the Judge of all the earth. For “the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgement to the Son” (John 5:22). Hence, those who have refused to accept grace find themselves cowering from “the wrath of the Lamb.”

We stand in awe of this One. Beyond comprehension is his love. Awesome is his sacrifice. Lavish is his grace. But fearsome is his wrath.


Lord Jesus, I gladly receive your grace and forgiveness and righteousness now, knowing there is a coming day when judgement is all that will be left. Thank you for your wounds which have saved me. Thank you for turning aside wrath.

Please, grant grace to those around me who have not yet chosen to receive it. Open their eyes now to their need. Touch their will to receive your gift.



Reflect & Pray:

Imagine the terror of that day, such that it would be preferable to be crushed by the mountains rather than face the wrath of the Lamb. Pray for those who do not yet know Jesus. Intercede on their behalf.


Photo by Joshua Fuller on Unsplash

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