Advent: December 17

Revelation 5:1-10

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 … He went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. 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.

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. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.’

The scroll with its seven seals contains the script of what is to come. There is no-one who can break them and set events into action except Jesus, who has earned this right through his atoning death. Subsequent chapters of the book of Revelation describe the events surrounding the opening of each scroll.

What we have read so far in Revelation is how things are at the moment. What John records from this point on is what is to happen, a sequence of events that cannot be stopped.

There will be battles and mass destruction. There will be deceptions and false prophets. The enemy will finally be defeated, but not until after his final fling. And there will be a new order – even heaven will change.

Christ alone is worthy to set the process in motion by breaking the seals. Christ alone will start the process that heralds the End of the Age.

What is it going to be like, sharing heaven with people of every nation, tribe and language?

How do you imagine people to look, and what language will be spoken, in heaven?

Father God, you have given to your Son Christ Jesus the authority to break the seals of the scroll of the End of the Age. By your Holy Spirit inspire me to understand what Jesus went through in order to save me for eternity, so that I may join with the elders in singing “You are worthy”. Amen.

The Lion of Judah