5:1-14 The Lamb That Was Slain Is Worthy
Memory Verse: Revelation 5:9-10
5:1-4 No Man Worthy To Open The Book
- 4:1-11 Continuing on from the last chapter, our location is in heaven where John just finished describing the One who sat on the throne, as well as, what was around, before and coming out of the throne. Everything we learned showed Almighty God sitting upon His throne and He is ready for pending judgement. As the Eternal One who sits on the throne, He alone is worthy of our complete devotion. Now John, shifts his focus to the book in the hand of the One on the throne.
- 5:1 In the right hand of God Almighty who is sitting upon His throne John sees a book. This book (scroll) had writing within and on the backside. It was also sealed with seven seals. Although we won’t find out in this chapter what this book contains, we know that it contains lamentation, mourning and woe. The seven seals were used to keep the book closed until it was open by the proper authority.
- 5:2-4 Then an unnamed angel, only described as a strong angel, proclaimed with a loud voice saying, “Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?” He was searching for someone worthy to open the book. As the call went forth, the response came back empty. There was no man in heaven, the earth or under the earth that was worthy to open the book or look thereon. Because there was no worthy man, John started to cry. Would the contents of the book never be carried out because there was no worthy man? These tears symbolize the helpless state of mankind on his own.
5:5-7 The Lamb Worthy To Open The Book
- 5:5 As John was crying because of the helpless state before him, one of the elders told Him to stop crying because there was a worthy One. He said, “Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the sevens seals thereof.” These references clearly point to the Messiah, the One worthy to open this book and loosen its seals. (1) The Lion of the tribe of Juda, represents the Messiah as a powerful leader that conquers His enemies. (2) The Root of David, represents that the Messiah will come as King from the seed of David. Both of these are fulfilled in Jesus, who, (3) Hath prevailed, meaning, as the Messiah, Jesus conquered His enemies through His sacrificial death and rules as King of kings, therefore He is worthy to open the book.
Genesis 49:8–10; Isaiah 11:1, 10; Romans 1:3; 15:12
- 5:6-7 Then John sees the Messiah as a Lamb standing in the midst of the throne, the four beasts, and the elders. He then describes Him: (1) As it had been slain, meaning although the Lamb was standing alive, it had the marks in its body of being killed. This represents Jesus, the Lamb of God who died on the cross and rose again from the dead. Even though Jesus is a powerful ruler and rightful King, He had to win the victory not through the sword but through sacrificing His own life like the lambs of the Old Testament. (2) He had seven horns, which symbolize complete power and might, He is now the prevailing ram. (3) He had seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. The Bible interprets itself here, so we know this refers to the Holy Spirit. The lamb metaphor represents Jesus as a sacrifice for sins and a reigning ruler who brings victory. It is He who is worthy to take the book out of the right hand of God.
Exodus 12:3-6; Isaiah 53:7 John 1:29, 36; Acts 8:32; 1 Peter 1:19
5:8-14 The Worship Of The Worthy One
- 5:8 Jesus takes the book out of the hand of God, this symbolizes that the end is near and full redemption is about to be carried out. Before Jesus opens the first seal, the four beasts and twenty-four elders see this, they fall down before Jesus. Every one of them had harps and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. These prayers represent that all our yearnings for redemption are about to be answered. The harp is connected to prophecy and worship, which could symbolize all prophecy is about to be fulfilled which should cause us to worship.
- 5:9-10 First, the worship starts with the elders as they sing a new song, a song of redemption (most likely just the elders because they represent the message being sung). They said: “Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” They restate Jesus’ worthiness to open the book because He died on the cross and redeemed mankind from every nation on earth, making them a royal priesthood. We have direct access to God and will reign with Him.
- 5:11-12 Second, a great innumerable multitude of the angels along with the beasts, and elders who together say in a loud voice: “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.” All of then recognize the worthiness of Jesus because He was the Lamb that was slain. Jesus’ death on the cross changed everything and it is what makes all the difference. His sacrifice makes him worthy of it all!
- 5:13 Third, every creature which is in heaven, on the earth, under the earth, and in the sea said, “Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.” All of God’s creation worshipped Jesus as the worthy One. Jesus provided the way for everything to be redeemed. Everything is going to be made right. All things are going to be made new. Justice will prevail—all because of the Lamb that was slain. Therefore He is worthy of never-ending praise and worship.
Psalm 69:3-4; 150:6
- 5:14 Finally, the four beasts said, “Amen.” They agreed with all that was said and wanted the worship to continue forever. Then the twenty-four elders fell down and worshipped Jesus who lives for ever and ever. The worthy One, Jesus, has possession of the book with the seven seals. He alone is worthy to open in because He alone died on the cross for the sins of the world. As He opens the book the host of heaven know that all wrong will be made right, thus they burst forth in worship. The time has come!
- Why was John crying?
- Why did John stop crying?
- Who does John see in the midst of the throne?
- What is this person described as? What does it mean?
- Who worship this person? What do they say?