The secret of history
And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?”
Following the letters to the 7 churches, the Book of Revelation continues with a vision of heaven. What the apostle John, through whom this piece of holy scripture comes, sees is quite literally out of this world. And right in the centre, dominating the whole scene is a throne, upon which God himself is seated. And in his hand a scroll, sealed with 7 seals, containing the secret of history: how God is going to make the world good again, healing all the pain, resolving all the conflict, soothing all the misery. Only no one can be found who is worthy to open the seal to unleash its contents.
Just when all seems lost, the Lion of Judah is announced and John looks round to see... a Lamb, a little lamb "as if slain (on the altar)". Through this vision, John - and we - glimpse God's great plan for redemption: God overcomes the forces of evil through sacrificial love. It happened through the passion and death of Jesus: the Lamb of God, whose sacrifice of his perfect life paid the price for all of our sins and broke the power of death for ever. We sing praise to God about that every Sunday and then go through the week in denial. We crave power and influence, we despise weakness and pain. Whatever happened to discipleship? Being faithful involves both praising God in his glory and following Jesus in a life of sacrificial love.