Revelation 5:1-6: He is able

“Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.” Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.” NIV

The sealed scroll contains future events. Here are two different, but complementary, observations on it:  ‘Probably it contains the history of the successive steps to be taken to win the empire of the world for Christ. In other words, it tells of the successive stages of the coming of the kingdom of God.’ F.B. Meyer: ‘Devotional Commentary’, p.638.

‘We rightly guess…that it contains God’s secret plan to undo and overthrow the world-destroying projects that have already gained so much ground, and to plant and nurture instead the world-rescuing project which will get creation itself back on track in the right direction.’ Tom Wright: ‘Revelation for everyone’, p.52.

No human-being is ‘’worthy’’ to unloose the seals that keep this book fastened.We have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. As one writer said, we are all overdrawn at the moral bank

But Jesus is worthy.

‘’He is able…’’ (5).

John looks for the One described as ‘’the Lion of the tribe of Judah’’ (5), but what he sees is ‘’a Lamb’’ (6). Clearly, Jesus is the other side of death. He is ‘’standing’’. He is very much alive. Also, He is at the centre of the universe: ‘’standing in the centre of the throne’’. He can open the book of the future. His death and resurrection lie at the epicentre of history. He died, yes. He was ‘’slain’’; but He was not defeated. ‘He death, by dying, slew.’ He is the all-prevailing Christ.