Useful Bible Studies > Revelation Commentary > chapter 5

Christ had the right to open the scroll

Revelation 5:5

For a moment, it seemed to John as if Godís plan to save his people had failed. That plan depended on the book (scroll) that God had himself written. However, John had seen that nobody in heaven or on earth had the right to open that book. So John wept.

It was one of the 24 rulers in heaven who came to comfort John. In words that may remind us of Christís words in John 20:15, the ruler told John not to weep. There was no reason to be sad. Godís plans cannot fail; God never acts in vain. No angel (special servant of God in heaven), no spirit and no person could defeat the evil forces that control our world. So, God himself acted by his Son, Christ.

The ruler reminded John that this was always Godís plan. He referred to two promises that God had given to Israelís people. The first promise was that a truly great ruler would come from Judahís family. That promise is in Genesis 49:9-10. Proverbs 30:30 describes the lion; it is one of the most impressive and bold animals. In Isaiah 31:4, God even compares himself to a lion. So Christ would fight boldly for his people against the forces of the devil, death and hell. By his death, he overcame all their power (Hebrews 2:14). Christ belonged to Judahís family (Hebrews 7:14).

The second promise was that this new ruler would come from the family of King David, the son of Jesse (Isaiah 11:1). Davidís family ruled in Jerusalem for 400 years but then they lost their power. However, as a new branch can grow from the root of a tree, Christ came from this family (Matthew 1:1).

The word ĎChristí means the king whom God has appointed. Godís promises about the lion from Judahís family and the root of David refer to Christ. He overcame all the evil forces to save Godís people. Therefore, he had the right to open the book. All Godís plans depend on Christ.

Next part: The special description of Christ as a lamb (Revelation 5:6)

 

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© 2016, Keith Simons.