Handel’s “Messiah”, A Prophetic Masterwork – Part 10, The Grand Finale in Heaven Prophesied

15 June 2023

1.6 MINS

Now we come to the grand finale of Jennens’ and Handel’s inspired and prophetic masterwork. It began with the dark and ominous clouds in the orchestral Overture, and the prophetic announcement of “Comfort ye, My people”.

Remember, Paul in 1 Corinthians 14:3 gave us the purpose of prophecy in a New Testament context (which is somewhat different to Old Testament prophecy): “edification, and exhortation, and comfort”. In this way, the first soloist marks the whole work to follow as a prophetically infused narrative of the grand sweep of redemptive history.


Now we come to the fulfilment of that grand prophetic sweep, with, in the words of the leader of the Moravian revival, Count Nikolaus von Zinzendorf, “the Lamb who was slain receiving the reward for His suffering”. The passage used for this final grand, angelic chorus, in the 1743 wordbook headed “the glorification of the Messianic victim”, is taken from Revelation 5:9-14 —

“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, and hath redeemed us to God by His blood, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

Blessing and honour, glory and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever.”

This is followed immediately by the final “Amen”. So be it, Lord!

Heavenly Gift

Finally, I want to thank you, my readers, for following this occasional series through to the end. I hope it has inspired you in reading and listening as much as I have been through researching and finding new insights into a work that has been a significant part of my musical life.

If you have just happened to check out this article, or an earlier one, could I encourage you to take the time to investigate the whole series and allow the Holy Spirit to inspire you through doing so.

Because music, even pure instrumental music, but especially music coupled with Scripture or expressions of Scriptural themes, is one of the greatest gifts from God. It is one of the Holy Spirit’s most effective servants in speaking into our hearts.

As the great Reformer and hymn-writer Martin Luther wrote:

“Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us.”

And the 19th-century poet Walter Savage Landor (1775-1864), wrote:

“Music is God’s gift to man, the only art of Heaven given to earth, the only art of earth we take to Heaven.”


Photo by Matheus Viana.

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