I did it because I like all of the “lamb” imagery in the scriptures and in Church tradition. It is a strong image that affects our eschatological views regarding the atonement. In first century thought, especially in the minds of the disciples, the “lamb of God” shows a paradox. Whereas the horror of the cross would mean the defeat of a messianic movement instead death is now defeated and turned on it’s head.
It speaks of the character of Christ after the cross. The “slain lamb” is a symbol of the defeat while still bearing the mark of the sacrifice. The syllogism of mystical 1st century Christianity shows the radical Christology that was developing in within the first generation of the church.
Jesus is the Lamb.
Jesus is God.
Therefore, the Lamb is God.
The image of the lamb is built in mission. When the Father places the trust of the scroll to the lamb in Revelation 5 He is placing all of history and the power that entails within the hands of Christ. Christ is worshipped as God. The power of future history is placed within the redemptive hope of a promised eternal fulfillment, draped in the grace of the death conqueror. Christ appears as involved in history and not simply watching over it.
The atonement is placed in this future hope. The death and rise of Christ was accomplished not because of legal satisfaction-but because of the gracious "fittingness" of the incarnation. Because of who the Triune God is, incarnation would happen in order to fully express gracious love to humanity. The image of the Lamb resounds with multiple images found throughout the sacrificial system of the Old Testament, as well as parallels between Christ’s death on the cross and the instruction of preparing the Paschal lamb during the passover.
Some would prefer to imagine a literal idea of Christ with a sword in his mouth (ch 19), and this is an image shared with chapters 1 and 2, but the greater theological significance and linking across the larger story of salvation of lamb imagery teaches us about a deeper characteristic of Christ as a humble and willing sacrifice.
How do we talk about the death of Christ in places that are most lacking in hope and feel as though they are removed from the scope of God's actions? We talk how seeing Jesus as a loving sacrifice that changed everything. The aging primary model of penal substitution just doesn't work (and it is a dated, culture specific idea), and the idea simply doesn't function well in a world where the individual is a supreme definer of goodness. History is held in the hands of our Lord, and he is the only appropriate one to rule over it. This rule isn't marked by anger, rage and violence but by the exact opposite.