Is He Worthy? - by Richard Neufeld
Blog Post 45 – Revelation 4-6
Revelation 4 is describing the Throne of God in heaven, surrounded by a rainbow that appeared to be made of emerald, 24 smaller thrones atop which sat 24 elders robed in white and crowned with golden crowns; there was lightning flashing all around with peals of thunder, as well as seven torches. All of this was encompassed by a sea that looked like glass or crystal. There were mighty angelic creatures all around which never ceased to say:
“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come.”
John then describes the One who sits upon the throne as holding forth a scroll sealed with seven seals as an angel cried out “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” Nobody is able to come forth as worthy and John is overwhelmed with sadness. Then one of the elders assures him, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” They all watch on as a Lamb comes forth before the throne, looking as it if had been slain, taking the scroll to Himself. At this point, everyone present falls down and sings a new song, and saying “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.” The following chapter goes on to describe in detail the opening of the seven seals.
If we thought there was too much in any given chapter in the bible to interpret in any one blog, that feeling is tripled for any point in the book of Revelation! It is a book that relies heavily on symbolism and imagery to convey meaning, the exploration of which is far too great an undertaking.
I’ve decided to focus on the main picture here of Lamb who is Worthy. The Gospel of John (I know, different John) goes to great lengths to emphasize Jesus as the Passover Lamb. Just as Paul calls Jesus the second Adam who takes sin, or Jesus as the better Moses by whom we walked in a fulfilled law through faith, Jesus is also the better Passover lamb under whose blood anyone can take refuge from death. As a perfect spotless lamb was sacrificed, whose blood was smeared on the rough wooden lintels (horizontal piece of wood that spans the top of a door frame) of the Israelites in Egypt, to save them from death, so Jesus whom John the Baptist called “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world,” (John 1:29) was sacrificed on our behalf. It was His blood smeared on the rough lintel of the cross under which, between two hands pierced and open to the world, we all find refuge from death and the forgiveness of sin.
We have all sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God and are relegated from His presence. However, Jesus, who knew no sin, became sin on your behalf and on mine. He underwent the worst form of torture and death, even though He had done no wrong and committed no sin, so that by His precious blood we may be saved, purified, justified, sanctified, and eventually glorified. This Son of God emptied Himself and became nothing, identifying Himself with sinful humanity, and in an act of incredible grace and love died in our stead. He was raised from the dead as proof of who and what He is.
It is this Lamb who is worthy to do what we see in Revelation. He is God’s own Son, the second person of the Trinity, and the only one worthy to initiate that which must take place in the book of Revelation, for He has been exalted to His original place of glory, seated at the right hand of God the Father, interceding on our behalf and welcoming to the fold any who call upon His name. He offers free comfort, forgiveness of sin, grace unmeasured, joy, peace, salvation, and everlasting life to anyone who calls upon His name!
The Lamb of God in Revelation is the same one whose birth we mark around this time of year. Don’t let December come and go without dwelling on the fact that we all owe our very life to Christ in the most intimate ways and by the most obvious ways. Have you taken time to truly reflect on the miracle of Christmas? If it stirs nothing in your soul or mind after much thought, I pray that you take even more time and clear away that which has clouded your spirit. This life is too short to live only halfway for Christ. If there be found idolatry or pride or selfishness in any of us, let it be rooted out at its foundation to make way for the coming Saviour. Amen!
Father God, thank you for sending your Son that we might be forgiven and know the true joy of being right with you. We pray for an increase of joy and knowledge of exactly who you are and what you’ve done for us. Let us never take our eyes off you as we navigate these treacherous times and give us new hope that each day you bear us up on your shoulders. Amen!
Song: Build My Life (Pat Barrett)
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In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.