Sermon – Resurrection Sunday, April 4, 2021
Revelation 5:1-14 – Is Jesus Worthy? (mp3)
Christmas is the American holiday. No other day comes close, really. Christmas has its own music, sweaters, trees, cookies, and movies. Easter, at least in America, cannot compete with that! Yet, since Christianity’s inception, Resurrection Sunday has been the church’s most important day of remembrance. It is not just that we celebrate it one day a year, but every Sunday that we gather is a microcosm of this day. But why make such a fuss? Why spend so much time bothering over something that happened so long ago? Given all that happens in the world today, all that we face, is this worthy of our time? Is Jesus worthy of all this?
1. Question: Who is worthy?
The scroll that the Almighty holds in Revelation 5 is nothing less than his good and gracious will for the world. If no one is found worthy to open it, then all is lost. We believe that the good will always win out, but that “good” is nothing but the kind and gracious will of God being brought forth in the world. Without it, we have nothing but the despair that Jeremiah writes of (Lamentations 3:1-18) and John experiences. We are hopeless, and filled with permanent and debilitating despair.
2. Answer: Jesus is worthy!
But, praise God!, Jesus is indeed worthy! He is worthy for he is God and man. Human in that he is from the line of Judah and David, but God in that he has perfect power and is the origin for the perfect Spirit. And as both, he conquers the world through the laying down of his life. Therefore, he has done great things for us! He redeems us, ransoms us, and returns us to God so that we might rejoice in God. John weeps in despair because no one is found worthy – Jesus is worthy precisely because in him all despair is ended.
3. Response: Worship the one that is worthy
An amazing thing happens in chapter 5. The angels, the elders, and the living creatures turn from the one on the throne to worship the lamb. They sing songs that align with the very songs sung to the Almighty, and ascribe to him many of the same items of worth! What, precisely is going on? Because of the lamb’s great work, and given the fact that God himself is the lamb, he is worthy of our worship. Indeed, the book of Revelation makes it clear: this Jesus is worthy not just of worship, but of our very lives!