The Superiority of Christ (Revelation 5)
When Leonardo de Vinci was about to paint Christ in his painting of the Last Supper, he prepared with prayer and meditation. Yet, when he went to paint Christ, his hand trembled. His hand trembled, no doubt, because Jesus was superior to any subject he had ever painted.
This morning, we want to look at the superiority of Christ.
Jesus is Superior in Scripture, vv 1-5
John saw a sealed scroll in God’s hand, verse 1. A voice had told John that he would see what would shortly come to pass (4:1). This scroll contains those things which were to take place.
The search for one who is worthy to open the scroll, verses 2-3. An angel with a loud voice comes and asks, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” The angel isn’t looking for someone who is strong enough to break the seals. The angel is looking for someone who is worthy to do so. “Worthy” here carries a moral connotation. The angel is looking for someone who is morally upright enough to break the seals.
No one was found to open the scroll:
- “In heaven”–among the angels;
- “On earth”–living individuals;
- “Under the earth”–dead individuals.
Jesus is worthy to open the scroll, verses 4-5. John wept much because no one could open the scroll–he would not know what God had in store for his saints, verse 4. One of the elders told John not to weep, verse 5. The Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David has conquered. He can open the scroll and its seven seals–he can reveal God’s plan.
Jesus is superior in revelation. Only Jesus is worthy enough to reveal what God wants. The Book of Revelation begins “the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 :1). The apostles made clear that they spoke the words of Jesus (1 Cor. 11:23; 1 Thess. 4:15).
We need to hear only the words of Jesus.
- No man is worthy to reveal what God wants.
- Man is only worthy to speak the “word of the Lord.”
- When one speaks, those who hear should see if he speaks the truth (Acts 17:11).
Jesus is Superior in Sacrifice, vv 6-10
The Lamb took the scroll, verses 6-7. When John looked to see the Lion, he saw a Lamb. The Lamb:
- Looked as if he had been slain–Jesus is the sacrificial lamb who takes away sin (Jn. 1:29).
- Had seven horns–Jesus had complete power.
- Had seven eyes representing the seven spirits of God–complete knowledge of the Holy Spirit is at Jesus’ disposal.
- Took the scroll.
The Lamb received worship, verses 8-10. The four living creatures and the 24 elders fell down and worshipped Jesus. They sang a new song saying that:
Jesus was worthy to take the scroll and open its seals, because
Jesus ransomed men for God.
“Ransom” means “to buy.” We have been purchased by the blood of Christ (1 Pet. 1:18-19).
Jesus made these men a kingdom and priests to God.
As a kingdom, we are under God’s rule. As priests, we offer praise to God. Every Christian is a priest. Every Christian can approach God himself.
Jesus allows these men to reign on earth.
We reign on earth through our prayers. We change the world through prayer (Rev. 8:1-3).
Jesus is Superior in Song, vv 11-14
Worship involves paying homage to one greater than oneself. An innumerable host of angels came and praised Jesus, verses 11-12. Every creature in heaven on earth and in the sea praised Jesus and the Father, verse 13. The four living creatures gave their approval to this worship scene, verse 14. The 24 elders fell down and worshipped, verse 14.
Every created being is pictured as praising God and the Lamb. We should join this chorus and praise God. This is why our attitude concerning worship is so important. This is why our attitude in worship is so important. If we don’t praise him now, we shall praise him later (Phil. 2:9-11).
Jesus is superior.
The angels depict Jesus as worthy to receive so much (vv. 11-12). He is also worthy to receive your life. Won’t you give him your life?