Enter the Lamb
It gets better. Now a mysterious scroll appears in the hand of the One seated on the throne, sealed with seven seals. A mighty angel issues a challenge to all creation to open the scroll. But no one is worthy to do so – except one. John is told not to weep (for he had begun to cry), because the “Lion of the tribe of Judah” who is the “Root of David” has conquered. He is worthy. And then appears in the midst of the throne, not a lion as the elder had indicated, but a lamb, and not any lamb, but one looking as if it had been slain. And a strange-looking lamb it is with seven horns and seven eyes, representing its power over and knowledge of all things. The Lamb takes the scroll out of the hand of the One seated on the throne. One wonders if the Lamb was the only one who would dare approach the One seated there. He does, and one senses that the Lamb’s taking of the scroll from the One seated on the throne was as effortless as his subsequent breaking of the seals.
He is the Lion and the Lamb both at the same time, the One who conquers through sacrifice, whose strength is displayed through meekness. And what happens upon his receiving the scroll? All creation breaks into praise, the same praise as in chapter four that was ascribed to the One seated on the throne. The One seated on the throne was praised for creating the world and everything in it; the Lamb is praised for ransoming a people from the world, a kingdom of priests who shall one day rule over it.
But yesterday we said that only the Lord is God. Indeed, we did. And here we understand that the One seated on the throne is the Father, and the Lion who is the Lamb who was slain is His Son who gave his life a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). And the “seven spirits of God” which burn before the throne is the Holy Spirit, so that all three persons of the Trinity now make their appearance in this majestic scene. And we are now able to name this God who is so awesome in appearance. We said yesterday that He has named Himself, “I Am,” and so He has. But further revelation from the New Testament identifies “I Am” as “The God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who sends the Holy Spirit,” a mouthful, I know, but necessary in this day of false gods. This is the only true God. Paul reminds us, that although there may be many ‘gods’ and many ‘lords’ – yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist (1 Corinthians 8:5-6). And this God alone is worthy.