Who Is Worthy?
Scripture Reading: Revelation 5
5 Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” 3 But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. 4 I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. 5 Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”
6 Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits[a] of God sent out into all the earth. 7 He went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. 8 And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. 9 And they sang a new song, saying:
“You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
because you were slain,
and with your blood you purchased for God
persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.
10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
and they will reign[b] on the earth.”
11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12 In a loud voice they were saying:
“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and praise!”
13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:
“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be praise and honor and glory and power,
for ever and ever!”
14 The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.
“The Lion of the tribe of Judah . . . is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.” Then I saw a Lamb. . . .
The apostle John, one of Jesus’ closest followers, received amazing visions of Jesus, heaven, mighty angels, and much more while he was exiled on the island of Patmos (Revelation 1:9). John describes these visions in the book of Revelation, and together these passages help us to grow in faith so that we can learn to live faithfully for Jesus. Jesus is the Son of God, the Savior of the world, who came to lay down his life for us so that we can be saved from sin and death and live forever with God.
Our reading today describes a surprising, dramatic scene in heaven. God is seated on the throne, and he is holding a scroll that is sealed with seven seals. It seems that no one is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll. But then an elder says to John, in effect, “Look! The Lion of Judah has triumphed, and he can open the scroll!”
And John sees a Lamb, looking like it had been slain—and this is no ordinary lamb. This is Jesus, “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). As the Lamb takes up the scroll, the many thousands of angels in heaven and all the creatures and elders around the throne sing out, “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” And in the following scenes Jesus, the Lamb, opens the scroll to portray the story of how God frees us from sin and death and sets us on a journey of living by faith.
Thank you, Jesus, for providing our salvation. Help us to live by faith in you. In Your name, Amen.