The Drama of chapter 5 is absolutely incredible. Can you see it?
After being completely captivated by the beauty of the Throne Room and the One on the Throne, the Lord lets John see it — the Scroll (v.1). The Scroll is the script of the Father’s plan to finally bring all things into perfection. The Consummation of all things! It is the Thing that EVERY human being, and even the whole of Creation is groaning for — that all of the fallenness, imperfection, and pain of this world would be cleansed, all things would be made completely new and the perfections of the Garden restored. It’s what we ALL want — an end to the tensions and the longings and frustrations of this life! How precious and powerful is that Scroll in the Father’s right hand!
(v. 2-3) But, Who will execute the Father’s plan?? Who will finally bring the ANSWER to the planet? What kind of leader can be found who is able to execute the plan with perfect justice, mercy and love? Who can be found to deal rightly with the human race with fairness and righteousness? Who is WORTHY?
(v.4) No one worthy can be found!! John weeps and weeps and weeps!! “No one can open the scroll?!? No one is worthy? Then there is no hope for us!! All is in vain! We’re doomed forever!!” Can you imagine the bitterness of these tears?
(v.5) But, wait. There IS One. He is found perfect in holiness and power (the Lion). Yet, He is a Man — able to mete out judgment with tenderness and sympathy for our human frailty (the Root of David). Jesus, the God-Man is worthy! He is able to faithfully execute the Father’s perfect plan and bring all things together under His loving leadership!
(v.6) Why is He worthy? Because He is the Lamb on the Throne. Not only is He the Son of God (on the Throne), He humbled Himself to the very lowest place, below all of humanity, that which He created, and allowed Himself to be slain as the sacrifice for all sin, for all time (the Lamb). He is the One who can Judge, but also wears the skin of those who He will judge, and bears in Himself the marks of wrath to remove the judgment. Wow, what kind of Person is this?
(v.7-end) He is the only Person who is responded to with a three-fold chorus of worship!! How else do you respond to this One, so majestic and beautiful, yet marred to redeem fallen mankind?? Threefold worship = First the living creatures and the elders fall down and worship. Second, all of the angels burst into praise. Third EVERY creature in heaven, on earth and under the earth join in a chorus before Him!
But wait, there’s more! What brings forth this abundance of adoration?
Jesus takes the Scroll from the hand of the Father! (v.7)
and the immediate response is HUMANS (the elders) worshipping (having harps) with intercession (bowls of incence). We will take part in releasing the End Time plan on earth, by joining with Jesus (the Great Intercessor) through worship and prayer!! See, it is BECAUSE He purchased us with His blood (v.9) so that we CAN be kings and priests (v.10): those who will bring his Kingdom on Earth, under the leadership of the One with Scroll! We are in this WITH HIM!! What an amazing privilege!
The angels respond to this astonishing Plan to join the Redeemed in leadership with the Redeemer by declaring His great WISDOM and STRENGTH (v. 11), worthy of all honor, glory and praise!
All of Creation sees the scope of His plan and cries out in amazement and worship (v.13).
(v.14) And finally, the living creatures, those who day and night gaze on God and percieve His beauty and perfections, eternally studying Him with their many eyes, shout their holy agreement, “AMEN!!” = This is who HE is! This is what He is like! His Love and Mercy know no bounds! His wisdom is beyond searching out. All of His ways are just and true!
And again, undone by the magnitude of it all, and their calling to reign with the Holy, the elders (humans — that’s us!!) fall down before Him!
I wonder if Paul had seen this heavenly scene when he wrote in Epesians 3:10-14 (NLT): “God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was his eternal plan, which he carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord. Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence. . . When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father . . . “
Ideas for responding devotionally to this passage:
-Worship Jesus! Tell Him how worthy He is!
-Spend some time meditating on the details of Jesus the Lamb — what could seven horns and seven eyes mean?
-Use the very verses in this text as prayers before the Lord, and why not get on your knees or your face while you do it? 🙂
Comments are always welcome!