Who is Worthy?

Key Verse: “Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.”
—Revelation 5:12

Selected Scripture:
Revelation 5:1-10

THE BOOK OF REVELATION is highly symbolic, and in chapter five we have pictured before our minds God upon his throne with a book. This book, or scroll—as books were in olden times—was written on the inside as well as on the outside. However, no one could read it, or even open it, as it was sealed with seven seals. The question is then asked, “Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?” (Rev. 5:2) No one in heaven or on earth was found who was able to open the book, or even look upon it, causing much weeping and disappointment. (vss. 3,4) The book, in this instance, seems to be symbolic of God’s Divine purpose and plan—that purpose being to have a perfect race of God’s creation here upon earth, enjoying in peace and perfection all the beauties and blessings of God’s handiwork. Sin had separated man from God’s favor, however, and instead of living and enjoying the beauties of earth forever, man was subject to the results of sin: disease, sickness, suffering, and eventually death. God’s original purpose for man was sealed, unable to be opened and fulfilled, until someone could be found worthy to redeem man from his fallen condition and bring him back into favor with God.

To fulfill the requirement of a redeemer would not be an easy task. First it required a corresponding price, a perfect human life to be given up in payment of the perfect human life Adam lost when he sinned in the Garden of Eden. Although many angelic beings were qualified as perfect, yet they were not a corresponding price because they were not human beings, born of flesh and blood. Likewise, mankind, although a corresponding price from the standpoint of their human lineage, failed in the other vital requirement, that of being perfect. After all, they were all of Adam’s descent, and therefore it was impossible for any of them to give a perfect life as a ransom, for none were perfect, “There is none righteous, no, not one.” (Rom. 3:10) The psalmist says, “None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him.” (Ps. 49:7) Surely it seemed that no one was worthy to open the book, and loose its seals.

Just when it seemed that no one would be found worthy to be the one to carry out God’s plan of salvation to its ultimate conclusion, the cry is heard, “Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.” (Rev. 5:5) Who was this ‘Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David?’ If there was any doubt, it is removed in the next verse, when it identifies this worthy one as a “Lamb as it had been slain.” (vs. 6) This could only be Jesus, of whom John the Baptist had said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”—John 1:29

Because of Jesus’ faithfulness, even unto death, and his subsequent resurrection to the right hand of God, it could now be said with much rejoicing, “Worthy art Thou to take the book, and to break its seals; for Thou wast slain, and didst purchase for God with Thy blood [men] from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.”—Rev. 5:9, New American Standard Translation

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