“But one of the elders said to me, ‘Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.’”
Revelation 4 and 5 takes us on a heavenly tour, and with an all access pass, we are brought into the throne room of Jehovah God. There, we are privileged to observe as the saints and angels worship at His feet. Suddenly, the scene shifts from the throne to a scroll in the hand of God. All of Heaven seems fixated on this scroll and its contents. John is never told exactly what this scroll is, but it has been suggested by some, that it is the title deed to the earth.
Going all the way back to the beginning at the garden of Eden, we find that all of creation was given to mankind to enjoy. It did not take long before man’s rights were forfeited through sin, and all of creation was brought under bondage. At that moment, God’s plan of redemption began to unfold. Adam and Eve were promised that God would raise up a Savior who would make all things right. As the centuries moved forward, prophet after prophet spoke of the coming Messiah, who would free us from the bondage of sin, and establish His righteous reign over the earth.
In the heavenly scene, we find all heaven weeping because no one is found worthy to open the title deed to the earth and redeem it. No one, that is, until the Lion of the Tribe of Judah enters. Suddenly, all attention turns from the Scroll to the Lion. John also turns and describes what he saw, “A Lamb who had been slain.” The only one, in all of heaven and earth, worthy to hold the title deed to heaven and earth, is the one whose blood was shed to redeem us. Heaven’s choir breaks forth in song again, as angel and saint herald praise to the Worthy One.
“You are worthy to take the scroll,
And to open its seals; for You were slain,
And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
And have made us kings and priests to our God;
And we shall reign on the earth.”
Jesus alone is worthy of our praise, for Jesus alone has set us free from the bondage of sin and death, and given us the hope of Heaven’s reward. While we will one day join the heavenly chorus, we need not wait that long, we can fall at the feet of the Worthy One now, and celebrate the promise of eternal life.
Questions for Revelation 5
Remember that in chapter 4 John was saw an open door in heaven and was called up. There he saw many fascinating things, but the center of all of them was the throne of God, who is worthy to receive all worship.
1. Notice that the scroll is mentioned in almost every one of the first 9 verses of this chapter. Before we get into what it means, do you think that makes the scroll important?
2. Look at verses 2 and 3. Who initially is found that is worthy, that meets every condition, for opening this scroll?
3. What is John’s reaction to the results of the search for one who can open the scroll? Why do you think he reacts this way? Does it seem important to him that this scroll is opened?
4. Verses 5 and 6 as well as the rest of the chapters references to Him as the Lamb who was slain make it apparent that Jesus is the one who is unlike any other in all creation and is worthy to open the scroll. What two animals is Jesus referred to as in these verses? Look up Romans 11:22, Jude 22-23 and Proverbs 3:34
5. When Jesus takes the scroll what is the response like in heaven (verses 8-12)? What is the response like in the rest of creation (verse 13)? Regardless of what the scroll might mean is it a good thing that it be opened?
6. We gain a few clues into the 24 elders are by their song. Note the following:
a. They were bought with Jesus’ shed blood, and therefore needed forgiveness of sin.
b. They were not strictly Jewish because they came from everywhere.
c. There are more nations/tribes/tongues than 24, so this cannot mean literally twenty four.
d. They have been called into His family (as kings) and into His service (as priests).
e. Given these facts, who do you think that the 24 elders might represent?
7. It seems likely that the scroll represents a title deed or last will and testament for the world, and opening it will begin a process culminating in Jesus taking His rightful place as king of all. But regardless of what it means exactly, don’t forget these truths concerning the scroll:
a. No one on earth can open it, and that is a sad thing
b. Only Jesus can open it, and that is a good thing.