The Victory of the Lamb - Revelation 5

Power. Wealth. Wisdom. Strength. Honour. Glory. Praise.

These are all thing which very many people spend their lives chasing. And there is nothing wrong with any of them in themselves. As long as they are ascribed to a person who is truly worthy to receive them. The problem with human beings chasing after power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and praise is that no human being deserves these things. We are not worthy! The truth is that there is only one person worthy of these things and that is God Himself. So it is that in this glimpse of heaven in Revelation chapter 5 we see ten thousand times ten thousand angels, more than one for every inhabitant of the United Kingdom, raising their voices in praise in verse 12.
‘Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and praise!’

The Book of Revelation has moved beyond the Letters to the Seven Churches to give visions of heaven. Visions of the things which will be fulfilled at the end of time when Christ has returned in glory and at the same time are visions of what is already true in God’s eternal Kingdom. Visions of the one who is so great and so beautiful and so marvellous that they are worthy of all the things we aspire to but fall so far short of. Visions of the exalted victorious Jesus Christ, who is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. The Lamb who is worthy.
WORTHY TO JUDGE THE EARTH
Revelation 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.’
The scroll holds the announcement of God’s righteous judgment on the earth. But no human being is worthy to open the scroll and pronounce God’s judgment. For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. No human being who has ever lived, no saint in heaven, not even the highest arkangels in glory are worthy to open the scroll. But there is one who is. The Lion of Judah. The Root of David, the heir to all God’s promises to David, the Messiah, Jesus Christ the Lord is worthy to open the scroll and to act as Judge of All.
In our sermons on John’s Gospel in chapter 5 we looked at the little parable of The Son, God’s Apprentice. Jesus said this. 21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. 22 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father.
Jesus knew that God had entrusted all judgment to Him. And here in Revelation we are reminded why that is the case and why the Lamb of God is worthy to open the scroll.

WORTHY FOR WHO HE IS
Sometimes we think so much about the wonderful things the Lord Jesus Christ has accomplished for us by his death and resurrection that we forget to praise Him for Who He Is. The Son of God. The Word of God. The Creator and Sustainer of everything that exists. The Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. The One who holds the Keys of Death and Hades. King of Kings and Lord of Lord. The Risen Christ who appeared to John as One Like A Son of Man in Revelation chapter 1. Christ is worthy because of who He is, as Colossians 1 and Hebrews 1 describe Him. The firstborn over all Creation, the visible image of the invisible God, the radiance of God’s glory, the heir of all things. The one who is before all things and in whom all things hold together. The one in whom all the fulness of God dwells in bodily form. This is why Jesus is indeed worthy of power and wealth and wisdom and strength
and honour and glory and praise!’

WORTHY AS CREATOR OF HEAVEN AND EARTH
Revelation 4 9 Whenever the living creatures give glory, honour and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:
11 ‘You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honour and power,
for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.’

God the Creator of Heaven and Earth is indeed worthy of all glory and honour and praise! This is how Colossians 1 describes this wonderful truth.
Colossians 1 15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
Colossians 1:19 tells us For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him,
And chapter 2 verse 9 repeats it. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form,
So Colossians tells us that the Son of God is indeed God. And this is even more clear in Revelation 5. Let me emphasise this point as strongly as I can, in case it has slipped past you. The praise which is being offering in heaven is praise for the Lamb of God, the Lamb who was slain.
Revelation 5 6 Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the centre of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders.
The Lamb is at the centre of the throne of God. So although the Lamb takes the scroll from the one sitting on the throne, the fact that the Lamb is at the centre of the throne of God tells us beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Lamb is Himself also God. The Lamb is God and God is the Lamb, Creator of Heaven and Earth.
This is assumed throughout the Book of Revelation, but made absolutely explicit in Revelation 22 1:
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him.
The throne in heaven is the throne of God and of the Lamb. There in verse 1 and verse 2. This Lamb at the centre of the throne of God is indeed God! He is worthy to open the scroll because of Who He Is, and also because of His mighty acts of Creation. But even more than that, the Lamb looking as though it was slain is

WORTHY AS SAVIOUR OF THOSE HE HAS REDEEMED
Revelation 5 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 on the earth.’

Jesus Christ, the Lamb who was slain, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the World, accomplished so much for us when He died on the cross for us. He brings us victory over sin, victory over death which is the consequence of sin, victory over the devil and all the powers of evil. The Lamb has triumphed!
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 centre of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders.
The Lamb is victorious! So He is worthy to open the scroll, because he has died. He was slain. It is so comforting to know that the future of the universe and the eternal destiny of each one of us, rests safe in the hands of Almighty God. But it is even more reassuring to remember that God is not some callous merciless tyrant but a loving heavenly Father. And the one who will be responsible for bringing God’s judgment on the world is none other than Jesus, the Lamb of God who was slain. The Lamb who gave His life to be a sin offering. The one who is completely worthy of all power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and praise all because of his suffering and his weakness and his death.
‘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.
1 Corinthians 6:19 You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price.
We belong to God now. He has redeemed us. We owe him absolutely everything!
Mark 10 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’
Persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.
Let’s not forget – God is not a 21st Century Middle-Class Englishman. The Church is made up of people from every place and every class and every race and every time. And Christ died for us all – not just for you and me!

10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.’

The true church is much more than a club or a society or an organisation. The true church is more even than just a family. The church is a kingdom of priests and our destiny is to serve God forever.
So the Lamb who was slain is indeed worthy! Worthy because of who He is. Worthy as Creator of Heaven and Earth. Worthy as Saviour of those who He has redeemed.
All heaven praises the Lamb seated on the throne.
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 honour and glory and praise!’

And the earth and every single living creature in the whole of Creation echoes that praise!
v.13 ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honour and glory and power, for ever and ever!’
And that is how we should respond to the Lamb who was slain for us. Bow down and worship – for this is your God!

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