I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals.Revelation 5:1(NASB)
In chapters 4 and 5 John is summoned into the throne-room of the Creator God through a door, standing open in heaven. He recognised the trumpet-like voice that spoke to him earlier, and a dazzling sight met his eyes. As he became accustomed to the glory that surrounded him, John saw a great throne, and seated on the throne was One Who was so magnificent that His appearance could only be compared with precious sardius and jasper stones, encircled by a rainbow, with the awesome appearance of an emerald.
As he further took-in the heavenly scene, he then saw 24 elders, clothed in white garments; seated on thrones and wearing crowns on their heads. The scene broadened to bring in living creatures with six wings and many eyes, who ceaselessly worshipped the One sitting on the throne saying, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, Who was and Who is and Who is to come.
Once John has started to assimilate the awesome scene in the throne-room, we move to the next scene in the following chapter, where the amazed apostle begins to move from his broad panoramic perspective to absorb the finer, intimate details of the celestial scene. 'I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book, written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals".
The apostle's attention was arrested by a scroll being held in the right hand of the One seated on the throne. The momentous importance of this roll of parchment became increasingly evident because it was written on both sides of the paper and was sealed with seven seals. One seal on a document from an earthly king demonstrates its importance, but seven seals on a scroll in the hand of the great Creator of the universe dictates unsurpassed import and solemnity.
John could see that the sealed document had writing on both the inside and outside, heightening the gravity of an already solemn, heavenly scene, for it contained much important information, which was hidden from human eyes; protected from angelic gaze and incapable of being altered, for it was secured and guarded with its seven royal seals.
Such a securely sealed and secret document, could only be opened by the rightfully appointed recipient.. and as John continued to watch the scene unfold, he discovered that it contained the full-force of God's outrage and wrath against sin, and only a sinless Man would be worthy to unseal the scroll - but all men are sinners and all fall short of God's glory. The shocking realisation that humanity was doomed, because of sin overwhelmed the apostle, who began to weep.
Maybe John realised the weight of his own sin could not be fully blotted out without the opening of the seals.. for sin must be punished, if victory over death and hell is to be accomplished. So shocking is sin, in the eyes of God, that the full force of His anger and wrath must be poured out, in fullest measure, on the God-hating, Christ-rejecting, fallen race of man, living on the cursed earth... to pay for the accumulated sin of the world.
No wonder John wept when he realised that there was no one who was worthy to break the seals. But he was soon to be told that the Lamb on the throne was worthy to break the seals.. for the eternal, invisible Son of God became visible sinless Son of Man and gained the ultimate victory on the cross at Calvary.
It was on Calvary's cross that the full force God's wrath was poured out on the Lord Jesus Christ... the perfect Lamb of God and sinless Son of Man, Whose life-blood was shed to take away the sin of the world and to pay for the price of my sin; your sin and the sin of the world. But ungodly men who refuse to accept Christ's payment for their sin, as a free gift of God's grace, will be punished and judged according to their works - which can never be good enough for a holy God - for there is none good, not even one.
While chapter 4 sweeps us into the heavenly throne-room of the great Creator God accompanied by angelic worship, chapter 5 turns our attention to the awful seven-sealed scroll, which none but the sinless Lamb, Who was slain before the foundation of the world, is able to unseal. No wonder John's attention was gripped when he saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book - written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals.
Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son to come to earth as the sinless Son of Man - the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world. Thank You that He was good enough to pay the price for my sin and the sin of the whole world, through the shedding of His life-blood on Calvary's cross. Thank You that He paid the price for my sin, and endured the wrath that I deserve. Thank You and that He is the righteous Man Who is worthy to open the seven-sealed scroll, so that Your justified judgement against sin can be poured out on the God-hating, Christ-rejecting, fallen race that refuses to receive Your free gift of salvation. Thank You that Jesus is Lord of heaven and earth; that a day is coming when He will judge the world in righteousness, and that all enemies will one day be placed under His feet. Thank You in Jesus' precious name, AMEN.
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