The Father is pictured holding a scroll in his right hand. McCord says, of the scroll, that it "apparently held the answer to man"s urgent need." It is a full revelation since the scroll in written on both sides. Its message is held secure since it is sealed with seven seals, which would be of wax and have an impression of the sender"s signet ring on it.
A powerful angel asks who is worthy to open the book, or, as Hailey says, "literally, "of sufficient weight," i.e. of moral character and ability to open the book."
There was no demon, man or angel who qualified to unlock the secrets to man"s need.
John here feels the deep sorrow all who would live with God in eternity must feel without Christ. There is no other worthy to carry out God"s great plan. The word "wept" here is the same one used when Peter had denied the Lord three times and when the Lord beheld Jerusalem and thought of her failure to turn to him. (Matthew 26:75; Luke 19:41)
One of the twenty-four older men steps forward and urges John not to weep. His tears are based upon incomplete knowledge. No created being could open the seals, but there was one who could. John is told to look at the lion of the tribe of Judah. Jesus is so called because he was the fulfillment of the great prophecy made by Jacob concerning Judah"s descendants. (Genesis 49:9-10; Hebrews 7:14) Further, He is called a Root of David because he is the one who fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah 11:1-16. (See also 2 Samuel 7:12-17; Luke 1:32-33) How reassuring it must have been to those Christians to know He overcame, or conquered, sin and death and was worthy to pen the scroll. (Hebrews 2:14-18; 2 Timothy 1:10) Because He has overcome, Jesus has the keys to Hades and death. (Revelation 1:18)
When John turned to see this great lion, he saw a Lamb which appeared to have been newly slain. Only by becoming as submissive as a lamb and dying could Jesus conquer death and become the king. (John 1:29; Isaiah 53:4-12; Philippians 2:8-11; 1 Peter 1:18-19) The Hebrews saw a horn as a symbol of power and seven of them represent perfect power. The seven eyes stand for the Holy Spirit which was sent forth, and sent other forth, into all the earth to testify of Jesus. (John 16:13; John 15:26; Hebrews 2:1-4)
From the fact that He appeared newly slain and that he sat down on the throne, we conclude Jesus took the scroll after his death and resurrection. (Acts 2:22-36; Hebrews 2:8-9; Psalms 110:1-7)
Now, the same ones who worshiped the Father in chapter 4 are seen worshiping the Son. The harps they laid down symbolize joyful music, of which there will be none of in fallen Babylon. (Revelation 18:22) The text tells us the golden vials full of incense represent the prayers of the saints. How comforting to know these are offered before the throne.
They burst into song about the redemption available to all men in the church which Jesus purchased with his own blood. (Isaiah 42:10; Acts 10:34-35; Acts 20:28; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 2 Peter 2:1; Daniel 7:13-14) It is a new song because the truths only became reality after the death and resurrection of the Lamb.
The redeemed are made a kingdom (ASV) and priests. (Revelation 1:6; 1 Peter 2:9) We can also be said to be ruling with Christ who is King of kings. (Matthew 19:28, where the regeneration would be the new birth.)
Many angels joined in song with the four beasts and 24 elders. Their total is really beyond numbering. (Hebrews 12:22)
Christ is worthy in every way, which is clearly seen in these seven expressions of worthiness.
Now, all of creation joins in the song of praise to the great Lamb of Calvary.
The only thing left to do is say Amen, or so be it, and fall down in silent worship before Christ.
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Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on Revelation 5". "Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany