You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals…. (Revelation 5:9)
The throne of God has a prominent place in the book of Revelation, being mentioned thirty-four times. There are four references in chapter five. This chapter shows us the purest worship. We prepare for worship hereafter by our worship here. Far too often we get on the throne and demand a worship experience about our musical tastes, the style we enjoy, and the feelings we want, when true worship bows to the One on the throne and focuses on Him.
The chapter commences with a scroll being presented (v.1). This scroll represents the title deed to the universe. It is covered in writing on front and back indicating that nothing more can be added. The contents are hidden—it is rolled up and sealed with seven seals. That deed to creation was Adam’s, but he forfeited it when he sinned, and surrendered dominion to Satan’s clutches. Now, all creation groans under the curse, longing to be redeemed from bondage. Who is worthy to take the scroll?
Search is made throughout the universe (v.2-3). No angel in heaven above, no man on earth, nor demon in hell is qualified to take the scroll. None are worthy. This breaks John’s heart (v.4). He sees the world full of sin and the sorrows it brings. He longs for deliverance to come. Is there not a redeemer?
Oh yes there is! One alone is worthy! Christ, the Lamb of God, has prevailed (v.5-7)! He prevailed in the wilderness when tempted by Satan. He prevailed in the garden when He drank the bitter cup. He prevailed on the cross when He paid the redemption price in full. He prevailed over the grave when He conquered death! John lifted his head bowed in despair, brushed away the tears from his eyes, and looked up expecting to see a Lion, but was shocked to see a Lamb. This Lamb is one that had been slain—the wounds of Calvary testifying to His accomplished mission of redemption. He has seven horns—speaking of power; seven eyes—speaking of perception; seven Spirits—speaking of presence. Thus, Jesus is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent!
The four living creatures and twenty-four elders respond by bowing before the Lamb (v.8). The four living creatures symbolize all that which He has created. The twenty-four elders represent all the redeemed of all the ages. Heaven is seen as a place where praise is sung and prayers are stored. That instruments are strummed may not surprise us; that intercessions are secured may startle us. Prayer is spiritual and eternal—its efficacy such that even after we are dead those prayers remain before God’s throne. In His time and way, He will answer—even if we are in heaven!
In heaven we will sing a new song (v.9-10). The message is not new, but the melody is! There are those who insist that any new music is bad music. In church, they only want the old songs. Yet, do we not realize there was a time when those old songs were new songs? Heaven is filled with music and I want to warm up for that choir by singing God’s praise here!
There will be a sevenfold doxology sung in holy harmony (v.11-14). The Lamb of God will be the subject of that worship. Music will pervade the atmosphere in glory. God made creation to utter joyful sounds—whether a bird to twitter or a human to sing. The Lamb alone is worthy of our praise. Amen? Amen!