So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it. But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.” And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth. Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.
Imagine being in the shoes of John in this setting. The secrets of the heavens and the earth are about to be revealed. The fate of all created things is at hand, and the transition from the old order of things to the new is ready to unfold. The scroll is there and longing to be unsealed, but there is no one who can open it. He weeps at being so close to the fulfillment of God’s plan yet not seeing these things come to pass. He weeps at those secrets remaining under seal. Then he hears an encouraging word. The one who is worthy to open the scroll is there. In appearance, a gentle creature which has been slain. In authority, the only king worthy of leading God’s kingdom to its full reign.
The Lamb and the scroll share one characteristic. The scroll has seven seals, and the Lamb has features representing the seven Spirits of God. In Hebrew tradition the number seven stood for divine perfection. This was the unbreakable number. We know from our story of redemption that only a perfect one could defeat the power of sin and death, that only one who was pure and holy could defeat wickedness. The scroll’s perfection lies in its holding the secrets and perfect plan of God, and the Lamb’s perfection lies in his victory over sin in the midst of it yet not being defiled by it or succumbing to its temptations. Our perfect Savior has earned the right to open that scroll and complete God’s perfect story of redemption for all creation.
We see in the beginning of this passage the disappointment of John at thinking that this scroll would remain sealed and unopened. His weeping did not last long, and I would imagine that the joy to follow was practically uncontainable. Would we not expect deafening shouts and sheer jubilation at the sight of the Lamb taking that scroll in his hand and preparing to set all things right for eternity? John saw this as it unfolded in the throne room, in a secret place, but the restoration of all things will be done for all to see. The divinely perfect Lamb will appear before all, and each one will meet him and know that He is the one who made all things new. Father, thank You for the Lamb which was slain not only for our restoration but for the renewal of all things.