“The Lion of the tribe of Judah . . . is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.” Then I saw a Lamb. . . .
The apostle John, one of Jesus’ closest followers, received amazing visions of Jesus, heaven, mighty angels, and much more while he was exiled on the island of Patmos (Revelation 1:9). John describes these visions in the book of Revelation, and together these passages help us to grow in faith so that we can learn to live faithfully for Jesus. Jesus is the Son of God, the Savior of the world, who came to lay down his life for us so that we can be saved from sin and death and live forever with God.
Our reading today describes a surprising, dramatic scene in heaven. God is seated on the throne, and he is holding a scroll that is sealed with seven seals. It seems that no one is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll. But then an elder says to John, in effect, “Look! The Lion of Judah has triumphed, and he can open the scroll!”
And John sees a Lamb, looking like it had been slain—and this is no ordinary lamb. This is Jesus, “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). As the Lamb takes up the scroll, the many thousands of angels in heaven and all the creatures and elders around the throne sing out, “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” And in the following scenes Jesus, the Lamb, opens the scroll to portray the story of how God frees us from sin and death and sets us on a journey of living by faith.
Thank you, Jesus, for providing our salvation. Help us to live by faith in you. Amen.