Lent – Day 35: Monday, 29 March
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. 2 And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?’ 3 But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. 4 I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. 5 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.’
6 Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the centre 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. 7 He went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. 8 And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. 9 And they sang a new song, saying:
‘You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. 10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.’
Jesus is standing in glory. He has achieved his earthly work. He has ascended to heaven, and holds the highest place of honour. He is still clothed in a physical body, the one he wore at his resurrection. Before he came to earth, he was spirit. When he came to earth, he took on our human form. When we go to be with him, we will take on his form.
As we venture beyond Sunday into Holy Week, I encourage you to look forward to the scene described in our reading. All that Jesus went through on that last week of his earthly life was leading to his glory, though we will walk with him in joy and celebration, in rejection, despising, his last supper, his suffering, agony and death on a cross.
We should be careful not to think we can walk with Jesus in this – his disciples abandoned him and the final act was his and his alone. We can only begin to understand his suffering when we place it in the context of our own sin and redemption. What Jesus did was to die for me, and my understanding of its impact is measured by the degree to which I know I am loved and redeemed.
How redeemed are you?
How worthy is Christ Jesus, in your terms?
Lord Jesus, you are worthy because you undertook the most amazing mission of love for your Father in coming to save this wretch from condemnation. I can only skim the surface of Father’s love, but I praise, worship and adore you for revealing it to me. Thank you, Jesus. Amen