Tuesday in the Twenty-Second Week of Ordinary Time

Revelation 5:1-6

Enter the Lamb

And now something quite dramatic happens in heaven’s worship.  The One sitting on the Throne and “who lives forever and ever” is seen holding a scroll “sealed with seven seals.”  The fact that the scroll rests in His hand and not an angel’s or an elder’s or even with a cherub speaks to the importance of the contents of the scroll.  The scroll contains the unfolding of John’s Revelation, but no one knows this at the moment.  Another way to put it is to say that the scroll contains God’s plan for history—an all-embracing plan including past, present, and future, judgment and grace, heaven and hell.  And in that the scroll contains the revelation of God’s plan, we know it cannot and will not be thwarted.  And this is the reassurance and comfort of the saints: God is the One who controls all of destiny and He will see them through.

“A strong angel” proclaims in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?”  And no one in all creation was found worthy to do so.  We should not think that the angel was calling for one strong enough; he calls for one worthy enough.  And the fact that no one was found worthy to take the scroll, open, and break its seals says something about creation vis-a-vis God, namely, that God alone is worthy, for He alone is God, and hence the First Commandment that we love and adore Him above all else and renounce any gods before Him.  So we must wait for God to open the scroll.

But John doesn’t know this yet; he only knows that whatever it is that is so wonderful that it must come from the hand of the One seated on the Throne is to remain hidden; and, for that reason, he cries aloud.  But he is quickly pacified as one of the elders directs his attention to one closest to the One seated on the throne—closer than the cherubim.  The elder calls him “the Lion of the tribe of Judah” and “the root of David,” messianic titles coming directly from the Old Testament (Genesis 49:9-10; Isaiah 11:1). 

And so John turns to see…a lion?  No, “a Lamb standing as though it had been slain.”  And it is this who conquered—a Lamb, every bit as strong as the Lion, but who conquers through suffering, sacrificial love.  Seven horns represent his strength.  Seven eyes, we are told, represent “the seven spirits of God,” which we understand to be the Holy Spirit who reveals the mind of Christ to us (John 16:13-15), who reveals the mind of the Father to us (John 14:9-10), whose mind is revealed in the scroll.  Worthy is the Lamb who was slain and who lives again (1:18)!  Only God can break that which God seals.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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