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“And they sang a new song saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll,

and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to

God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and

Nation, and have made us kings and priests unto our God…”

(Revelation 5:9-10)

It is certainly not by accident that among the songs, hymns, and choruses we sing together are many that extol the worthiness of the Lord Jesus like, “Thou Art Worthy”. It is a key element in our worship. One would have to say that it is highly improbable any pastor, Christian leader or believer, would dispute the certainty that Christ is worthy to be worshipped, for this is an acceptable fact among all Christians. It is, of course, also an accepted reality in the heavens, although in heaven that truth is stated over and over again as indicating there is something significant about repeating it. Up until Revelation 4:8 reference has primarily been to the “Lord God Almighty” who has been the focused object of worship. However, chapter five takes a bit of a shift. The word “worthy” appears four times in Revelation 5. The characteristics found in this chapter are interesting and important in our understanding of true worship and the worthiness of Christ to be worshipped. Obviously, none is more qualified to receive worship from the saints on earth and in heaven than our Lord Jesus Christ.

Let us first of all be knowledgeable concerning the word “worthy” that is used here in Revelation 5. The Greek word used here is ‘axion’, which scholars tell us means, “worthy by rank and character as well as by ability”. It is closely related to the word ‘hikanos’ which means “capable or qualified”. John establishes that Christ is worthy of worship by virtue of rank, character, ability and actions. That Jesus is worthy of worship by virtue of these four things is self-evident. In this chapter John lists five positions that Christ holds that form a working foundation of why He is worthy of our worship:

The Ruler On The Throne – The Eternal Son of God

(Revelation 5:1, 13)

As the One who “Sits on the throne”, we see Christ as eternal God, equal with the Father. He said, “All power is given unto me in heaven and earth.” (Matthew 28:18). He therefore holds that place of rulership over all things, including our lives.

The Lion Of Judah – The Conqueror

(Revelation 5:5)

As the Lion of Judah, He is strong, forceful, powerful and unconquerable, exercising His power on behalf of His people. None can resist Him. He is invincible in sustaining and empowering His church on earth. He enables us to accomplish His purposes.

The Root Of David – The King

(Revelation 5:5)

As the Root of David, He is the King eternal, the promised Heir who would sit upon the throne of David. As such, all dominion, authority, power and might have been delivered into His hands. He rules in the oversight of His church and world affairs. We are also reminded that, “Where the word of a king is there is power”. (Ecclesiastes 8:41) – Psalm 29 establishes this convincingly in its description of the Lord’s voice of authority.

The Lamb Of God – The Savior

(Revelation 5:6, 8 &12)

As the Lamb of God, He is our vicarious sacrifice. Isaiah wrote, “He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth.” (Isaiah 53:7). As the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, the Book of Revelation declares Him worthy to be worshipped on the highest plane.

The Redeemer – The Kinsman-Redeemer

(Revelation 5:9)

Jesus emptied Himself of His divine prerogatives and took on our humanity so that He would be the closest relative to each of us. Scripture reminds us that He, “Is a friend that sticks closer than a brother!” Verse 9 tells us He has “redeemed us to God”.

Again, when we consider the word “worthy” and the fact that it refers to the rank, character and ability these five offices fill, together with the scope of what they represent, it causes our hearts to swell with extravagant worship. There is no question … He IS worthy. Let our worship not be taken up with our preference for music style, or merely focus on types of expression (i.e. clapping, dancing, raised hands, etc). Rather, let the One who is worthy fill our vision to the extent that He is so awesome, so wonderful, so mighty and so worthy that we would humbly bow in adoration focusing on the glory of who He is!! The songwriter put it so succinctly when he wrote:

Fill all my vision, blessed Lord of Calvary

Fill all my vision till I see no one but Thee

May all the pleasures of the world now fade from view

And fill all my vision my whole life through

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