“I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll.., sealed with seven seals. And… a mighty angel proclaim[ed] with a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?’ And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll… And one of the elders said, ‘Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.’
“And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain… He went and took the scroll from… him who was seated on the throne. And… the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song,
‘Worthy are you to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation…’
“Then… I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice,
‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honor and glory and blessing!’
“And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying,
‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!’
“And the four living creatures said, ‘Amen!’ and the elders fell down and worshiped.” Revelation 5:1-9,11-14
The curtains of heaven separate to reveal Almighty God on His throne, holding a scroll that no one is able to open. No man or woman, no angelic being or creature. None is worthy, all are fallen short of God’s glory. John grieves at this unison of the sin stain. (Psalm 14:1-3; Isaiah 64:6-7; Romans 3:23)
But wait, weep no more! The Lion of Judah who conquered the grave is worthy to take the scroll! Enter Jesus, the royal Lamb, slain to take away the sin of the world and remove every tear, approaching the throne. Every living creature falls with music and offerings and prayer, and the singing swells to a heavenly chorus of praise. Living creatures and elders, angels and saints, myriads and myriads from earth, sky, and sea, peoples, nations, and languages, all unworthy, lift melodious, resounding praise to the Worthy One. (John 1:29,36; Revelation 21:4)
Sin divides us, driving wedges of angst, accusation, malice, and derision. Yet in a mysterious way, despite all our self-righteous pride, it actually unites us under God’s deserved curse. Once we realize that, we can join with all creation to worship the Savior of the world.
What humbling will it take for me to see myself and others rightly, then to exalt Jesus as Supreme?
Search me, oh God. Purify my heart, my eyes, my tongue to sing Your highest praise. (Psalm 139:23-24)
One thought on “Unison of Unworthiness, Unison of Praise”
This has reminded me of the song in Handels Messiah, ‘Worthy is the Lamb That was Slain/Amen”. It’s not as well known but is a glorious experience which builds to a climax of “amens”. They go on and on where you feel like you are in that day when we will all be proclaiming His praises to the risen Lamb. It’s worth listening to!