Summary: Exposition of Rev 5:1-14
Text: Revelation 5:1-14, Title: The Worthiness of Christ, Date/Place: LSCC, 4/2/05, AM
A. Opening illustration: Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, WA makes a statement about human nature that I believe is accurate. He says that worship is at the core of our being. In life all of us are worshippers. By nature we look for something to give our life away to. We typically determine what that thing will be based on our assessment of value. For some, it may be a Nascar driver or sports team. For some it may be a band. For some a social or political cause will do nicely. For some, it can be self. It come be shopping or gambling or deer hunting. For some it is work, or even family. Not only was every item of Henry’s clothing green, but so was his house, his stove, his furniture, his walking stick, and his carriage. He ate nothing but green food, and he even painted his horse green! Whatever you deem most valuable, you will give your self away to in a form of worship. One of the keys to life is making the right thing the object of worship, which relates back to value. We must value what is truly most valuable (this is the highest and most pure form of righteousness), and our lives tell us what we truly value.
B. Background to passage: Next Sunday is Palm Sunday, our remembrance of the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem during the Passion Week. In Luke’s rendition of the story, the Pharisees indignantly tell Jesus to stop the crowds from praising Him as the messiah, and He responded that if they did not praise Him that the rocks would cry out in their place. The idea is that praise must come forth to the object that is most worthy of this praise. Therefore, I want to examine the worthiness of Jesus this morning. In Rev 4, God the Father is exalted and praised for His work in Creation, and in Rev 5, Christ is praised because of his worth and value, especially that of redemption. If we value Jesus accurately in our minds, every part of our existence will be transformed, beginning with our worship, and going on to affect all parts of our lives. So my goal this morning is to present Christ as most-valuable and worthy of worship, so that we might respond appropriately.
C. Main thought: in our text we will see why Christ is so worthy, and what we should do about it.
A. Who He is (v. 1-6, 12)
1. Exp the book (of the rest of time on earth) and the One sitting upon the throne. The right hand was the hand of authority. Jesus took his position at the right hand of God. The angel was looking for someone who was worthy (qualified, valuable, suitable, sufficient, deserving, entitled, morally fit) and able to open the book. A search of the universe revealed that no one was worthy—not Abraham, Moses, David, Paul, Peter, not nobody. Two options: 1) death reigns, no hope, 2) God annihilates everyone by opening the scroll without a mediator. But don’t weep! The Lion of Judah has prevailed (overcome, conquer, subdued) death, hell, and the grave, and is coming to validate and consummate all the promises to the faithful, and execute judgment on sinners. Exp Lion (a vicious warrior) and Root (messianic king). He is also the Lamb of God (spotless, guiltless, holy, sin-bearing, pure sacrifice) standing in the middle of the throne, having been slain (perfect tense—continuing results). Seven horns, eyes, spirits.
2. Matt 13:44-46, Col 1:15-19, Phil 3:8, Jer 9:23-24, 2 Cor 4:4, 6, Eph 1:18b, Col 2:3
3. Illustration: A story was told of a man who loved old books. He met an acquaintance who had just thrown away a Bible that had been stored in the attic of his ancestral home for generations. “I couldn’t read it,” the friend explained. “Somebody named Guten-something had printed it.” “Not Gutenberg!” the book lover exclaimed in horror. “That Bible was one of the first books ever printed. Why, a copy just sold for over two million dollars!” His friend was unimpressed. “Mine wouldn’t have brought a dollar. Some fellow named Martin Luther had scribbled all over it in German.” “a failure to find a redeemer meant that this earth in its curse is consigned forever to death…that death, sin, damnation, and hell should reign forever…” –Criswell, someone said that we know the cost of everything, but the value of nothing; everything in our culture is given a monetary value…read part of the Nicean Creed from ill file, read the chorus to Prince of Peace, Champion of Love
4. We see Christ’s equality with the Father between Rev 4-5. We see that He possesses omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence. We see that nothing, no one, no thing is greater. That His worth and value and qualification surpasses all above, in, and under the earth. He is our conquering warrior in life, our reigning king, the only one with the divine right to rule and reign, our strength, or shield, or refuge, our compassionate sin-bearing lamb. He is the highest of high, greatest of great; no one could ever take his crown away. He will forever bear the marks of our punishment in glory. Christ is worthy of everything because of who He is! And the rocks know it!