GETTING THE MESSAGE/Christ’s victory over death

GETTING THE MESSAGE/Christ’s victory over death


.Revelation chapter 5 is a vision of the exaltation and coronation of the Lord Jesus Christ after his victory over the world and the devil by his death. Jesus as the Lamb takes the scroll from the right hand of God (verse 7), indicating that he has received all power and authority to carry out the purposes of God in heaven and on earth. Christ is worthy is the theme of the chapter.

The benefits of those who belong to Christ on earth are dramatized by angelic beings who represent the creation (the four living creatures) and the redeemed of mankind (the twenty – four elders). The elders fell down and worshipped Christ, “each holding a harp and golden bowls of incense, which are the prayers of the saints” (verse 8).

The first benefit is that the saints, those separated from the world as Christ’s people, have access to the throne of God by prayer. The prayers in a golden bowl indicate how precious the prayers of Christ’s people are to God. The saints were purchased at the highest price, (the blood of the Lamb), and are of great worth to God (verse 9).

When we pray, we must pray in Christ’s name and with faith that our Father in heaven hears us. Prayer has been appointed by God as a means of communion between God and his people. We praise and hallow God’s name, beseech his sovereign aid for body and soul, and find strength from his Spirit to overcome the world by faith.

It is a great privilege and blessing to be welcomed to God’s presence in prayer. It is a sign that our souls live. A prayerless Christian is like a man who has no pulse. The pulse is health to the body, as humble, thankful prayer is to the soul. Paul expected the prayers of believers to be heard on his behalf. James said the prayers of a faithful man avail much. So, pray always. 

Another benefit of those who belong to Christ is to be given a “new song” (verse 9). New songs to God in the Old Testament were for new mercies. Moses and Israel sang a song to the Lord of hosts after being delivered through the Red Sea. 

This song, however, is the song of songs, the chorus of which is “Worthy is the Lamb.” It is a song given to the “ransomed” of God, “from every tribe and language and people and nation” (verse 9). The salvation of every soul is due to the blood of Christ. His death took away the guilt of his people. The cross is an emblem of God’s love and his gift of life to sinners. How can one not sing if he has been given such a gift?

The cross of Christ naturally repels men. The truth of the cross is that men are worthy of death. They do not seek to glorify their Creator, nor are they able or willing to love God and do his will. Men are under the power of sin and the devil. And they die because of sin.  Christ is a necessary Savior. The cross teaches us this. He died for sinners. So, the cross also draws men.

Christ said, “When I am lifted up, I will draw all men to myself.” This meant he would do what we read of in Revelation 5:9. People from all over the earth would respond to the good news of the gospel and come to Christ. He is the Savior of all men. The gift of salvation is not given automatically to everyone but offered indiscriminately to all sinners, meaning any who comes will be accepted, but you must come to him.

When the Spirit of God convicts a soul of sin, the misery of it, and the inability to help himself, then he sees the wonder of Christ crucified to him. Love draws us to Christ. Think of Mary Magdalene, delivered from demonic power and her subsequent love for Christ. A delivered soul loves Christ. The cross of Christ, once an offense to his pride, now becomes his boast. 

How great is the love of God that he would make sinners children of God through the sufferings and death of the glorious Son of God. The gates of paradise are opened again by the cross of Christ. Jesus, on the cross, told the contrite thief, “This day you shall be with me in paradise.”  Those are good words to hear. Worthy of a song to the Lamb.

The Rev. Chris Shelton is pastor of Union’s First Presbyterian Church.

Powered by Creative Circle Media Solutions