Thursday, March 01, 2012
A Commentary on Revelation 5
A brief explanation of the fifth chapter of Revelation (recently written up for a family member):
The major dilemma being laid out in the first few verses of chapter 5 is that the scroll of history is sealed. Who is able to unseal this great scroll? Who is worthy to unseal it? In the ancient world, when a scroll was sealed by the mark of a king or a great dignitary, only another great king or dignitary was worthy to unseal it. The revelation John is having depicts a heavenly crowd looking among themselves to find someone worthy to break the seals. Think of it! Who would have thought angels and other glorious beings would be unworthy of anything? Then in verse 5, a heavenly elder says the Lion is worthy, that great King from the line of Judah (see Gen. 49:8-10).
But, then a Lamb appears (v. 6). I thought we were looking for a Lion?? How could a little, stupid lamb be the Worthy One? Ah, this is no ordinary Lamb. He is the seven-fold Lamb (v. 6 - All the 7s refer to His perfection...the number 7 is often used in ancient literature to depict completeness and/or perfection). The Lamb takes the scroll; He is the one worthy to unseal the closing events of history. The Lamb who was slain to purchase men for God (v. 9) is the Lamb who deserves glory from all people and all nations, and even angelical beings (Rev. 5:10-14)
By the close of Revelation 5, we see that the Lord of history is none other than the Lamb of God who was willing to die for the sins of humanity. He is both lion (king/powerful/dangerous) and lamb (kind/sacrificial). The one who unseals the closing judgments of history is the same one who gave his life to save anyone who would believe in his sacrificial death.
We will either worship Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord or we will be under judgment for failing to turn to Him as Savior and Lord.