Read Revelation 5:1-4. In light of Isaiah 29:11-12, what is the meaning of the sealed scroll, and why did John weep?
The Greek text indicates that the scroll was lying on the throne at the right hand of the Father. It waited for the One who was worthy to take it and “to loose its seals” (Rev. 5:2, NKJV).
In the words of Ellen G. White, the sealed scroll contains “the history of God’s providences, the prophetic history of nations and the church. Herein was contained the divine utterances, His authority, His commandments, His laws, the whole symbolic counsel of the Eternal, and the history of all ruling powers in the nations. In symbolic language was contained in that roll the influence of every nation, tongue, and people from the beginning of earth’s history to its close”. – Ellen G. White, Manuscript Releases, vol. 9, p. 7.
In short, the sealed scroll contains the mystery of God regarding His plans to solve the sin problem and save fallen human beings. The full realization of that mystery will occur at the second coming of Christ (Rev. 10:7).
Read Revelation 5:5-7. Why is Christ the only One in the whole universe worthy to take the sealed scroll and unseal it?
The crisis in the throne room is related to Satan’s rebellion. This planet, although created by God, has been under the dominion of the usurper, Satan. John’s tears expressed the longing of God’s people, since Adam, for salvation from the bondage of sin. The sealed scroll comprised God’s plan for resolving the sin problem. No doubt with His immeasurable power God Himself could realize that plan. However, the redemption of the fallen human race required something special, and that was Jesus, who did “overcome” and thus was worthy to open the book, to assume the lordship over this earth, and become our Mediator in the heavenly sanctuary.
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