John the Apostle received instructions to record what Jesus revealed to him in a book (Revelation) during his exile to Patmos (AD 96), including this chapter on the Lamb receiving the scroll in the throne room. Note that Revelation chapters 4 and 5 is one thought, one vision.
1 Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” 3 And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, 4 and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it.
5 And one of the elders said to me, “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.” 6 And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7 And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne.
8 And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, 10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”
11 Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” 13 And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” 14 And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.
Observation and reflection questions
- John shifts his attention from the worship of him on the throne (chapter 5) to a scroll. What does John record to indicate the importance of this scroll?
- Why would John weep so much? Why could this scroll be so important?
- An elder announces that there is one worthy to open the scroll. Note what John records about the Lamb. What do we learn about the worth of the Lamb from each of these attributes?
- Lion of Judah:
- Line of David:
- Amidst Throne:
- Seven Horns:
- Seven Eyes:
- Takes the Scroll from God:
- A Lamb that is Slain, yet standing in Heaven:
- Note at the response of those around the throne – who does what? What do you learn about Him from the worship of the Lamb?
Personal Reflection questions
- Christ is recognized as the Lion of the tribe of Judah, yet he is worshipped as the Lamb who was slain.
- How would this way of the Lamb have comforted the persecuted church in the first century?
- How would this way of the Lamb have challenged the expectation of the persecuted church for deliverance from the Roman persecutors?
- Consider Philippians 2:5-10 that speaks of Christ’s example of meekness and obedience. How does this way of the Lamb challenge your response in conflict and hardship today? Do you have examples of how the way of the Lamb have resulted in godly outcomes to difficult times?
Prayer and Worship
In prayer declare 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 today:
“But I know [His] grace is sufficient for you, for [His] power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”