Lord, you know that this is not what I planned to blog about this week. But after Revelation 5 was read at the beginning of our church service Sunday, I could not get this old post of mine out of my head. Father, I can only assume that someone who is reading this today is supposed to hear these words. Lord, use what I say to speak into someone’s heart. Let me accurately portray your Word in a way that will penetrate their mind and heart and cause them to draw closer to you. Jesus, you alone are worthy to be praised. Let these truths below cause us to praise You!
Have you ever heard the Andrew Peterson song “Is He Worthy?” Many of you have probably heard the Chris Tomlin version on the radio, so if you haven’t listened to Peterson’s version, I encourage you do to so before we go any further.
Something about this song gets me every time. I mean, EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. As many times as I have heard it and sang it with our church choir, it still brings tears to my eyes. So what’s the big deal, you ask? Well, have you thought about the words to this song? “Is anyone worthy? Is anyone whole? Is anyone able to break the seal and open the scroll? The Lion of Judah, who conquered the grave. He is David’s root and the Lamb who died to ransom the slaved. Is He worthy? Is He worthy of all blessing and honor and glory? Is He worthy of this? He is!” Did you know that the words to this song are almost verbatim from Revelation 5? Check it out:
The Scroll and the Lamb
5 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.
Holy wow! This is powerful stuff, friends. We’re not talking about the Lamb’s Book of Life here – you know, where your name is written if you’ve accepted Christ. We’re talking about the scroll. Two entirely different documents. The scroll. It’s sealed with seven seals and the contents is a mystery. Commentaries suggest that it’s possible it contains God’s purposes for history, but it being sealed prevents the full disclosure of what’s inside. We do know, however, that it is considered complete. The fact that it was written on “within and on the back” (representing completion) and sealed with 7 seals (representing perfection) tells us that whatever the document contains, it’s perfect. And it’s complete. So, the destiny of mankind, of the world; the eternal plans that have been in place since the beginning of time for us, that’s what we’re talking about. If you keep reading the next few chapters in Revelation, maybe opening the seals is the beginning of the old earth being destroyed and the new earth coming? I don’t know. But either way, we are talking about the plans in place for all of eternity.
And John, here in Chapter 5, begins to weep because no one is found worthy to open the scroll. It’s not who is strong/mighty enough – it says that the angel that initially asked who was worthy to open it was “mighty,” so it’s a question of worthiness. But, what is worthiness? The Oxford Dictionary defines “worthy” as “good enough, suitable. Something or someone that is deserving of attention or respect.” Merriam Webster says that “worthy” is “having sufficient worth or importance” A pretty obvious definition, right? So, NO ONE was found to be worthy. No one. In ALL of heaven, for ALL time. NO ONE. Do we have any hope? What kind of eternity is laid out for us? Those are probably the questions that John has at this point. And then he looks up to see “a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain.” THE Lamb. The One who was slain as the final atonement sacrifice (see Leviticus 16). The One who came to break the Old Testament law and establish a new covenant (Hebrews 8-10). The One who died as a ransom for those of us enslaved by sin. And sure, His sacrifice alone makes Him worthy, but the fact that He conquered the grave…. that, hands down, makes Him the only One who is. He overcame death and became the bridge between the eternal separation we would have from God had it not been for Him. He overcame death, y’all…. that’s pretty final, so that we – me and you – could have eternal LIFE, not eternal death. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). And more so, He did it all willingly! He left heaven to come to earth knowing that this was His future. Did He deserve it? Absolutely not. But I did. And every day I still do. But, praise God, that He is not just the slain Lamb, but He is the RISEN Lamb! He is so worthy to take that scroll, our eternal future, and reveal its glory to us.
So, “Do you feel the world is broken? Do you feel the shadows deepen? …Do you wish that you could see it all made new?” Well, guess what? There’s hope. Because Jesus is worthy to open that scroll, those of us who have accepted His grace have a future that is secure in Him. We have a future that includes no more crying or pain or death because “the former things have all passed away” (Revelation 21:4). He paid the ultimate sacrifice for us and because of that, my friends, HE IS WORTHY! So when we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be! When we all Jesus we will SING and SHOUT the victory!
Y’all have a great weekend!
I started this page with a watercolor background in rustic colors (the Prima Marketing Woodlands set was the perfect color palatte for this!). I then added some texture with Sweet n Sassy Texture Tiles 1 and Texture Tiles 2 using Rusty Hinge and Gathered Twigs Distress Oxides. I then created a collage at the bottom of the page with scrap pieces of fabric, ribbon, burlap flowers and gears from my craft stash. The cross image from Rustic Easter was stamped onto cardstock and colored with my Prismacolor pencils. I then glued it to a miniature piece of sheet music for the song “Is He Worthy” and distressed the edges with Vintage Photo Oxide. I then adhered everything to the page. The words “Is anyone worthy” were stamped with Cold Coffee Alpha in Vintage Photo distress oxide.