Revelation: The Lion-Lamb Opens the Scroll

Peter Barnes: Revelation 4 & 5

(4 February 2018)


In his commentary More Than Conquerors, William Hendriksen set out the view that Revelation is a series of snapshots and not in strict chronological order.

1. God is worshipped as the holy creator.

– 4:1-8. This is full of Old Testament imagery, from Mt Sinai (Ex.20:18-19), Ezekiel 1 and Isaiah 6. The 24 elders are the twelve patriarchs and the twelve apostles – old and new Israel.

– 4:9-11; a majestic scene.
2. The Lamb-Lion is the key to all history.

– there is a problem – 5:1-4. The scroll is surely the plan of God, to His purposes of judgment and redemption. Here is great majesty and splendour; here is heaven itself. But something is missing, or someone is lacking.

– John is consoled by one of the elders – 5:5-6. This Lamb-Lion is described in an extraordinary way – 5:6-8. Horns signify power, and Christ by His Spirit sees all the world – Zech. 4:10.

3. The Lamb-Lion saves His people through His death and resurrection.

– a great choir in heaven – 5:11, 13; see the songs they are singing – 5:9-10, 12, 13. On Revelation 5:12, Joni Eareckson-Tada as a quadriplegic: ‘Our Lord will be honoured as the slain Lamb. His sufferings will never be forgotten.’

– The Lamb suffers and the Lion conquers, but they are the one person.

– here is the response – 5:14