Revelation 5: The Reigning Lamb
This chapter is a most important chapter to help the Christian who is on earth and who cannot penetrate the events of heaven to know how God runs the universe behind the scenes. We will see that the words spoke at the Great Commission that He has all authority in Matt. 28:18 are true and being acted upon. We will see the exaltation, authority and ongoing working of Christ for the church as Paul describes it in Eph. 1:20-23, ‘that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.’ We will see the fulfilment of Psalm 2 where God installs the promised Son of David, the Messiah to rule over the nations in judgement. And we will see the fulfilment of Daniel 7:13-14 where the Son of Man is given dominion over God’s kingdom. And I would add along with William Hendriksen that this is also the beginning of the Millennial reign described in Revelation 20.
The importance of this scene for the suffering church of the first century and through all time cannot be overestimated. Christians in the first century have suffered a reign of terror under Nero during the 60s where Christians were dipped in tar and burned. There was ongoing ostracism and antagonism for the rest of the century and John was writing during a second Roman government driven reign of terror under Domitian A.D. 81-96. Who is in charge, will it end, is the Church going to be crushed? These are the sorts of questions that we would expect to be in the minds of the saints. And so we have the curtain pulled back and God is seated on the throne and Christ is setting in action the plan of God to crush all evil. The veil is removed and we see God implementing by Christ the beginning of the end. Things are set in motion that will eventuate in the inevitable overthrow of satan, sin and death, when all persecutors will be stopped and judged and wrongs righted. This beginning of the end is pictured for us in a scroll which represents God’s plan; the lamb who is worthy to take the scroll and implement that plan, and the new song which exalts Christ and sings of the outcome of that plan.