I’ve been studying the book of Revelation this summer, and I’m currently spending time in chapters 4 and 5. These chapters contain an awesome heavenly scene. The scene is so breathtaking that it simply demands our worship. You get the privilege as a reader to see things from the perspective of heaven. In these chapters, you encounter angels and elders and heavenly creatures and extravagant worship. And yet, John hardly describes the God of heaven. He talks more about the throne of God than God himself: ‘one seated on the throne’ (Rev 4:2), ‘they cast their crowns before the throne’ (Rev 4:10), ‘he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne.’ (Rev 5:7). It’s as if God is just too wonderful to describe. He is indescribably awesome! He is so much higher than us, so transcendent that John simply can’t explain Him. Who could be worthy of such a task?!
The key figure in these chapters is Jesus. He is called ‘the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David’ (Rev 5:5), the ‘Lamb’ (Rev 5:6). He is the centre of a great paradox. He is the conquering lion (Rev 5:5), yet he achieved his great victory by being slain like a lamb (Rev 5:8-9). The tragic death of Jesus was at the same time the great victory of God. He died as a sacrifice for our sins and by his blood he ‘ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation’ (Rev 5:9). We have been ransomed. We have been set free by Jesus. It reminds me of what Paul says in his letter to the Colossians:
13 You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. 14 He cancelled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. 15 In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross. (Colossians 2:13-15, NLT)
So, let’s get this straight. God, through the death and resurrection of Jesus, has cut away our sinful/selfish nature, has made us alive with Christ, has forgiven us all our sins and has disarmed our spiritual enemies? No wonder all of heaven is falling down in worship! Jesus is worthy.
One of my favourite rap artists, Beautiful Eulogy, have written a song called ‘Worthy’. Here is how they express the worth of Christ:
You are Christ the Consummate, my hope and every confidence,
Worthy to receive praise from every mouth and every continent
Infinitely worthy of loyalty and my allegiance
Worthy enough to die to self, to offer my obedience
Worthy is the Lamb, worthy is the Son of Man
Worthy is the One who takes the scrolls from His holy hand
Where angels and elders and living creatures all fall
And worship the highest King, the most worthy of all
How much worth is in your worship? Jesus is worthy of not only our loudest praises but of our entire lives. May we together grow in our understanding of God’s worth.