Summary: Study of the Book of Revelation
Revelation, Part VII
Revelation Chapter 5:1-7
Continuing on in Revelation, we turn our focus from the throne room, to the one sitting on the throne – make no mistake -- this is Jesus Christ. This is the Messiah that we serve, the Holy and Anointed one, and the reason why we have the joy and peace we have.
Read Revelation 5:1-7
I. The Scroll
This scroll carries with it the Deed to the Earth! It is sealed and shows complete and total proof of ownership. That is, the Earth belongs to God, and he maintains the deed in His possession until the time comes for it to be opened.
On ancient scrolls, the writing was in narrow columns about three inches long, and as you read you rolled it up. When a roll was finished, it was fastened with strings and the strings were sealed with wax at the knots. These are not seven writings, each separated by a seal; but seven seals all set upon one scroll (all the seals must be opened before any of the contents can be revealed).
Now … see here, that no one is found worthy to open the scroll!
II. Who is worthy?
Who is worthy to open the scroll? A strong angel (perhaps this is Gabriel or Michael) issues a challenge to all creation; a challenge no creature can answer - because no creature is worthy to open this particular scroll.
The bible shows that John wept here because no one – even in the glory of Heaven, was found worthy to open the scrolls. This means that even in Heaven – in the perfection of God’s heaven, no one was found worthy enough to take the scrolls from God’s hand and to open them.
An elder comes to John (again, the elders are not completely identified), but this elder tells John to not weep – to not be sad – because the Lion of the Tribe of Judah is able to take the scroll!
The root of David (speaking of Jesus’ lineage again – Matthew 1)
I am certain that this elder was EXCITED! Think of it this way. In God’s entire Heaven, not one is found perfect enough to take the scroll, except the promised Lamb of God.
Now, here appears the Lamb, on His throne, ready to take the scroll from the Father and open it according to God’s plan! There had to be excitement in Heaven, for who knows how long this has been building!
III. The Lamb in Heaven
The Lion/Lamb is worthy to open the scroll. One of the elders (not an angel) points to the great figure of Old Testament prophecy: the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Messiah of Israel (and of the Gentiles). He alone is worthy to open the scroll!!
The idea of Jesus being the Lion of the tribe of Judah comes from Genesis 49:9-10 which says, “You are a lion’s cub, O Judah; you return from the prey, my son. Like a lion he crouches and lies down, like a lioness—who dares to rouse him? The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his.”
John, because of the elder’s announcement, expects to see a Lion, but sees a Lamb instead. The title of Lamb will be used for Jesus some 29 times in Revelation; it is a strongly used title. The Lamb is presented in a way both sympathetic and powerful; He is living (stood a Lamb), but He still has the marks of previous sacrifice upon Him (as though it had been slain). But the Lamb is not an object of pity; He bears the marks of omnipotence (seven horns) and omniscience (seven eyes).
The seven eyes of the Lord are a picture of omniscience. Zechariah 4:10 says “"Who despises the day of small things? Men will rejoice when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. (These seven are the eyes of the LORD, which range throughout the earth.)"
When men want symbols of power they conjure up ferocious beasts and birds of prey (such as are used for nations and sports teams); but the kingdom of heaven represents itself in terms of humility, gentleness, and sacrificial love. What a figure! A slain Lamb, who has the marks of omniscience and omnipotence!
The coming judgment that will begin in Chapter 6 are dictated and administrated by a Lamb who has already sacrificed Himself. The judgment comes upon a world who hates the Lamb and all He stands for, and rejects His offer of escape.