I just can’t get over the book of Revelation. Although confusing at times, this book remains as a source of encouragement for me because it initiates a shift in perspective away from myself onto something much greater. No matter how overwhelming or anxious my situations may seem, getting a glimpse of Jesus in His glory and pure essence just makes me seem so small. And I think that’s a good thing. Sometimes we need to feel small to realize just how finite our lives are when compared to our great God. And that it will all be okay in the end. Then what I face doesn’t have to bother me as much. For I know that the One holding the whole timeline of the universe in His hands will always be there and will always love me.
We can know this because of what Jesus sacrificed to win us back from sin and death.
Revelation chapter 5 in particular gives us a picture of Jesus in relation to His sacrifice for us. We get a glimpse of what this actually looked like for Jesus to offer Himself to God in our place and the subsequent honor and power it has unleashed. Jesus is not described in this chapter in His earthly humanity or even in His radiant divinity, but in His vulnerability to embrace the nature of a lamb.
In Revelation 5 specifically, as Jesus embraces this nature of a lamb, He is worshipped for it. He is not worshipped because of His splendor. Not because of His miracles. Not because of His endearing words. Not in this chapter. But because He is the Lamb!…He is so worshipped. The only One who was willing to pay the price. The only One who stepped up to address the problem of our sin and death. And because of this, He is recognized very clearly in Revelation 5 as the only One who is worthy. The only One who has any value. The only One who ultimately has any power. The only One who is able to fix the problem of sin and a world of death.
This is made evident in verses 2-4 when an angel asks loudly among all in heaven, who is worthy to open the scrolls? No one is found. And John weeps as he observes this. How devastating it would be to glimpse the reality of no hope. That is what John briefly experienced in that moment of wondering. No hope. That is what you and I deserve. No hope. That is what John saw when nobody came forth to open the scroll. No hope. That is what you and I dwell among right now in our sinful depravity. No hope.
But praise to be God, it all changed!
At last in verses 5-6 the Lamb is found! The Lamb was the only hope. For the Lamb is the root of David. The Lamb is the mighty conqueror. The Lamb overcame death in our place. The Lamb has brought hope back to life. The Lamb is worthy to open the scroll. And now we have hope. Because of Jesus’ sacrifice as the Lamb of God alone do we have hope. There is no other way. We cannot manufacture it on our own. Jesus alone has been given honor and power to do what nobody else can. He alone.
Jesus embraced the nature of a lamb so that He could offer Himself to God as a sacrifice for all the sin that you and I have ever committed. He is the only One who could fix our dilemma. For He alone lived a perfect life as God sent from heaven in human form.
But this lamb is not just any ordinary lamb.
What really stood out to me in this passage was in verse 6 where John describes this lamb as still standing. John sees a lamb that obviously looks like it has been slain and mangled. He sees pain, scars, wounds and death. He sees a lamb that should not be alive. So it doesn’t make sense that a lamb that has been cut apart would be able to stand. But Jesus did. It doesn’t make sense that He would have any strength left. But Jesus did. It doesn’t seem possible that a lamb murdered and sacrificed would still be alive. But Jesus is. And because of this, we have been made alive! Jesus is the only One who had the power to defeat death despite death. He alone is able to bring life. His sacrifice was intentional not accidental.
Different from other chapters in Revelation, Jesus never speaks in Revelation 5. Not a word by Him is uttered. The silence of Jesus in this chapter reflects what had been accomplished in His quiet submission to go to the cross. And His humble confidence to do what needed to be done, fully taking responsibility for something that He never deserved. A problem He didn’t have to fix, but chose to take on Himself as the one through whom all things were created. Because of His obedience, He is worshipped in this chapter as the most worthy thing in the entire universe as we start to hear other voices rising with praise beginning with verse 9 in this passage. And all just stand in awe of the only One who is able to open the scroll.
The Jesus I read about in Revelation chapter 5 has the attention of every single living thing around Him. Nobody is able to look away. Nobody is able to remain silent either. Worship erupts. And this time, Jesus remains silent. For all of existence has been riding on Him from the beginning of time until now. And the time for His purpose to be fully accomplished is coming.
In light of this we have to ask ourselves, when’s the last time I gazed upon Jesus with awe? When’s the last time I erupted in praise for what He has done? For if we get to know Jesus correctly and see Him the way that John did as is recounted in this book, we will never be the same when we consider the person of Jesus.
Let us get to know Jesus as the tender yet resilient lamb. Humble yet powerful ruler. Meek yet mighty warrior. The One who loves us with such a deep love that nothing could stand in the way of Him doing for us what we could not do for ourselves: fix the problem of sin and death.
Let us all gaze upon Him with awe. Let us stop what we’re doing, get quiet and posture ourselves before Jesus, the Lamb of God who has taken our pain and suffering upon Himself in our place.
May we be forever grateful to Jesus for what He has done for us. May we not take this lightly. May we revere Him as so valuable and glorious and worthy of our hearts. May we gaze in awe of Him and be so compelled to sing praises to Him, finally understanding why He deserves our worship in the first place.
Summary of Revelation 5
John sees One seated on the throne holding a scroll in His right hand; an angel inquires about who is worthy to open and read the scroll; no one is able to open it; John starts to weep because there is no one found worthy enough to open the scroll; one of the elders consoles John by telling him that there surely is one who is worthy to open the scroll, the Lion of the tribe of Judah and the root of David; John sees the Lamb between the throne of God and four creatures; the Lamb is described as one who has been slain, with seven horns and seven eyes; the Lamb goes and takes the scroll from the right hand of the One seated on the throne; the living creatures and all the elders fall down before the Lamb as He takes the scroll; they sing to the Lamb; John sees angels who start to sing to the Lamb; John then hears every creature in heaven, earth and in the sea singing to the Lamb; the four creatures say amen; the elders fall before the Lamb and worship Him.
Jesus in Revelation 5
Jesus’ response was anticipated (v. 2)
Jesus is needed (v. 2)
Jesus is necessary (v. 2)
Jesus’ absence is mourned (v. 4)
Jesus absence forever would have brought about ceaseless sorrow (v. 4)
Jesus’ existence is enough to stop our tears (v. 5)
Jesus is the Lion of the tribe of Judah (v. 5)
Jesus is the Root of David (v. 5)
Jesus is royal (v. 5)
Jesus is the promised one humanity had been waiting for (v. 5)
Jesus’ arrival to open the scroll is awaited (v. 5)
Jesus is the source of hope (v. 5)
Jesus has conquered all that needed to be conquered (v. 5)
Jesus’ conquering enables Him to open the scroll and its seven seals (v. 5)
Jesus is the only one with real power (v. 5)
Jesus is mighty (v. 5)
Jesus does what nobody else can do (v. 5-7)
Jesus is described as a Lamb (v. 6)
Jesus looks like He has been slain (v. 6)
Jesus is mangled (v. 6)
Jesus in the form of this lamb has 7 horns and 7 eyes (v. 6)
Jesus in not an ordinary lamb (v. 6)
Jesus possesses the 7 spirits of God sent out through all the earth (v. 6)
Jesus is standing not sitting (v. 6)
Jesus is alive despite His death (v. 6)
Jesus is victorious in spite of his slaughtering (v. 6)
Jesus defeated death with death (v. 6)
Jesus takes the scroll from the One seated on the throne (v. 7)
Jesus is an initiator (v. 7)
Jesus has a task to still accomplish (v. 7)
Jesus is given all control (v. 7)
Jesus causes the living creatures and elders to fall at His feet in worship (v. 8)
Jesus is worshipped with music and prayer (v. 8)
Jesus is worthy to touch the scroll (v. 9)
Jesus is worthy to open the scroll (v. 9)
Jesus is acknowledged by the elders in heaven as being slain (v. 9)
Jesus shed blood (v. 9)
Jesus ransomed people for God (v. 9)
Jesus redeems people from every tribe, tongue and nation (v. 9)
Jesus fixed the problem of sin and death (v. 9)
Jesus has made His people a kingdom (v. 10)
Jesus has made His people priests to God (v. 10)
Jesus’ sacrifice will enable His people to reign on the earth (v. 10)
Jesus invites His people to partner with Him (v. 10)
Jesus gives His people responsibilities (v. 10)
Jesus attracts a multitude of angels, living creatures and the elders to worship Him (v. 11-12)
Jesus is again acknowledged as the Lamb who was slain (v. 12)
Jesus’ sacrifice is the most glorified thing about Him in this chapter (v. 12)
Jesus’ sacrifice alone makes Him worthy of complete worship (v. 12)
Jesus is worshipped by all those in heaven surrounding Him (v. 12)
Jesus is worthy to receive power (v. 12)
Jesus is worthy to receive wealth (v. 12)
Jesus is worthy to receive wisdom (v. 12)
Jesus is worthy to receive strength (v. 12)
Jesus is worthy to receive honor (v. 12)
Jesus is worthy to receive glory (v. 12)
Jesus is worthy to receive blessing (v. 12)
Jesus and the One who sits on the throne are both worshipped by everything in the universe (v. 13)
Jesus and the One who sits on the throne are given blessing (v. 13)
Jesus and the One who sits on the throne are given honor (v. 13)
Jesus and the One who sits on the throne are given glory (v. 13)
Jesus and the One who sits on the throne are given dominion (v. 13)
Jesus and the One sitting on the throne are worshipped forever and ever (v. 13-14)
Jesus and the One who sits on the throne see the elders fall down before them in worship (v. 14)
“And I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. 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.’” –Revelation 5:4-5 –
Questions for Today:
- What is the picture of Jesus described like in Revelation chapter 5?
- Why is this portrayal of Jesus significant?
- Do I fully understand what Jesus did for me as the Lamb of God to fix the problem of sin and death in the world?
- Why should I be in awe of Jesus?
- What next step is Jesus asking me to take in my relationship with Him today?
“Let it Be Jesus” by Passion Band ft Christy Nockels