The biggest understatement in the bible (Memorizing a Bit of the Bible part 2)

The Sunday meeting was coming to an end when it suddenly hit me. I was literally staggered at the force of it. We had reached chapters 4,5 and 6 in our preaching series on the book of Revelation and touched briefly on this verse:

And they sang a new song, saying,
“Worthy are you to take the scroll
    and to open its seals,
  for you were slain, and by your blood you purchased people for God
 from every tribe and language and people and nation Rev 5:9

Maybe I should not be so hard on musicals as it seems heaven seems to burst into song quite a lot*. In this case the trigger was because Jesus was found worthy to open the scrolls and thus roll out God’s salvation plan throughout all history. He is qualified for the task specifically because he has purchased with his blood a people for God. Hold that thought.

Inspired by John Piper I had just started memorising Mat 6:25-34.

Mat 6:26   Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (ESV)

Scriptures can be are like lasers whose energy intensifies at their crossing and it was the force of these two verses, Rev 5:9 and Mat 6:26 that together that floored me. Talking about birds Jesus says “You are worth more than they”, or as Matthew 10:31 “you are worth more than may sparrows”. What a massive understatement that is considering we were bought with the life and death of Jesus Christ, the son of God. It’s even better than the “and he made the stars also” of Gen 1:16. I am worth more than many sparrows, more in fact than all the sparrows that have ever or will ever exist or all the stars in the sky. I was bought with the life and death of God’s one and only son and that makes me priceless. How may sparrows are you worth?

*I had said that heaven was inclined to burst into song “at the drop of a hat” but having read it again the next day that seemed a rather inappropriate turn of phrase to use, as if the prompt for singing was something rather inconsequential. What they are actually singing about is so far removed from a hat dropping in it’s size, significance and scope as to make my choice of words perhaps the worst understatement that I have ever made. I have therefore hastily re-written it.


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