Singing To The Risen Lamb

Bible Book: Revelation  5
Subject: Risen Lord; Cross of Christ; Resurrection; Easter

We come to this Easter Sunday with joy in our hearts, for we serve a risen Savior. There isn't a tomb containing the body of our leader, for He is risen. Today, I want us to think about our living Lord and the fact that we will see Him and praise Him in person one day. We are going to sing, "Worthy is the Lamb," in the heavenly choi, as promised in the scripture.

Now, some of us can sing and some of us can't sing. Hardly anything sounds worse to the human ear than hearing someone try to sing who cannot carry a tune. There used to be a prison called Sing-Sing in the United States and I have always said that anyone who can sing for the Lord and won't sing for the Lord ought to be sent to Sing-Sing by the Lord. Actually, it might sound better to say that anyone who cannot sing but tries to sing ought to be sent to Sing-Sing!

In truth, every voice raised in praise to God sounds sweet to God's ear, no matter how it may sound to the human ear. We are told to make a joyful noise and not necessarily a sweet sound. One day, however, every true child of God will be able to sing on pitch and in harmony, with absolute perfection. We shall all join the heavenly choir on that day in the future, and the scripture tells us about that day. God will be the audience and all the redeemed of all ages will execute glorious music in His presence. That is what our passage today is all about.

Turn with me to Revelation, chapter 5 and follow as I read:

“And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals. 2 Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?” 3 And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it. 4 So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it. 5 But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.” 6 And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God are sent out into all the earth. 7 Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. 8 Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new song, saying:

“You are worthy to take the scroll,

And to open its seals;

For You were slain,

And have redeemed us to God by Your blood

Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,

10 And have made us kings and priests to our God;

And we shall reign on the earth.”

11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice:

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain

To receive power and riches and wisdom,

And strength and honor and glory and blessing!”

13 And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying:

“Blessing and honor and glory and power

Be to Him who sits on the throne,

And to the Lamb, forever and ever!”

14 Then the four living creatures said, “Amen!” And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever.”

Wow! What a wonderful chapter found in God's Word. The passage before us is a heavenly one and records an image that John saw while on the Island of Patmos as an exile. John was called up to heaven in this vision to see something that will take place one day in the future. The scene is the throne room of God. So, let’s seek to grasp the wonder, the beauty and the magnificence of that which John beheld.

As we begin, let’s start with seeing what all the redeemed of the ages will sing about in heaven.

I. We Shall Sing about the Scroll - The Deed

A. The Weeping of John

John sees a great throne in heaven and one seated upon it. In the hand of the one on the throne is a scroll that is sealed with seven seals. Now, understanding something about titles and deeds in the biblical days will aid us at this point. What John saw in the hand of God was something like a deed, or the title to something. What exactly was it John observed? John was looking at what is likely the title deed to the earth. The scroll contained the promise of redemption for the earth and all on it who accept God’s Son for salvation. One problem existed, as John watched the scene. Someone had to be qualified to take the scroll and open it. If no one was qualified – if no one was able to do so – the entire plan was doomed.

The Bible tells us an angel came calling with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to take the scroll and open the seals thereof?” This call was repeated, but no one was found worthy. If no one was worthy, sinners were still in their sins. If no one was worthy, evil ruled the world and won the victory. If no one was found worthy to take the scroll and open it, Satan was the champion!

At this point, John begins to weep – to sob – to cry out in a loud voice. His eyes drip tears of sorrow and he is bereft of peace. Why this weeping? The scroll contained the "will" of God. In other words, the scroll contained the title deed to the entire earth. Satan has proclaimed himself the lord and ruler of the earth, even though he is an imposter and an interloper. John wept because it appeared that no one would be worthy to open the scroll and declare Jesus as Lord, Savior and King. A Roman will was written in this manner. The seals were on the scroll to secure it from an imposter who might try to claim the inheritance of another. Only the person authorized could open a Roman will. The writing on both sides indicated that the full statement of possession was enclosed. Like writing a check, which cannot have anything added or taken from it once it is written, the will was final and authoritative. To think that Satan and his followers will never be defeated and judged brings tears to any God-fearing redeemed person. That is why John was weeping.

But, let’s ask why we are going to sing about this scroll that John saw – the scroll that troubled him so deeply.

B. The Worthiness of Jesus

We shall sing about the scroll because Jesus is the only One is worthy to open it and to claim the title to the earth. He is worthy and that will be our song! He is worthy will be heaven's theme.

As John is weeping, one of the twenty-four elders seated in heaven comes over and says to John, “Weep no more, for One has been worthy to loose the seals and open the scroll.”  John wipes away his tears, looks up and sees one walking across the sea of glass toward the throne. He appears as a lamb that has been slain and looks like the Lion of the tribe of Judah. John realizes that this is the image of Jesus. His eyes open wide as he watches the Savior walk over and take the scroll out of the hand of the One of the throne and He heart pounds as He watches the Lamb of God take that scroll and hold it high over His head and the victor over Satan, evil and sin!

Suddenly, song breaks out in heaven. Joyful, exultant, and happy notes escape from the hearts of those around the throne. Who are they? Well, there are twenty-four elders seated in heaven, and it is believed my most conservative scholars that these represent the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve Apostles of Jesus; in other words, the twenty-four elders represent everyone saved by faith from the Old Testament and New Testament ages. All the saved in heaven begin to sing and lift up a voice of victory because the Lord is worthy to take the scroll and to opens its seals.

The hands of Jesus were nailed to the cross one day long ago, but there is a day to come in which He shall take the nail-scarred hand and lift up the scroll of victory in the presence of heaven. He is the victor over death and hell, sin and evil, Satan and his followers! What a day that shall be.

But, there is another reason we shall sing on that day. Not only because He has taken the scroll in hand, but notice that…

II. We Shall Sing about the Sacrifice - The Death

The text before us tells us that we shall sing because of the sacrifice that Jesus made for us at the cross. What did John see? He saw a Lamb as I had been slain. The saints in heaven begin to rejoice because our victory over sin and death was won through the sacrificial death of our Lord at Calvary.

A. It Was a Wicked Act that Placed Him on the Cross

What was done to Jesus was wicked indeed! His death was inspired by hell and carried out by sinful men, and no deed earth was so vicious as that of putting Jesus to death on the Cross.

B. It Was a Willing Atonement that Prompted Him to the Cross

It is important to remember that Jesus willing gave Himself for us. As we have said and heard many times, Jesus could have called thousands of angels to remove Him from the cross, but He remained there of His own will. In essence, sinful did not take His life, Jesus gave His life!

I read somewhere years ago about a church that had inscribed on the cornerstone the words, "But we preach Christ crucified." As the years passed, vines grew up around that cornerstone until all that was visible were the words, "But we preach." And then, ironically, the vines kept growing until the only words visible were, “…we preach.” My dear friends, it is little wonder, we read, that the church in question slowly decline until it was sold for a business purpose.

We preach Christ crucified and risen! That is what we preach here and that is what we will sing about there in heaven one day in the future.

There is the story of a family that lived out in the country on a dirt road many years ago. It was rare that a care would pass by, so the children would play and ride bikes in the road. One day as one young member of the family was crossing the road on his bicycle, a car came roaring down a nearby hill, struck the boy, and killed him. An older brother said that he watched as his father picked up the mangled twisted bike and began to cry out loud. It was the first time the boy had heard his father weep.

Well, the father put the bike in the back of the family barn, in a place that was hardly ever used. From time to time, the boy related, the father would go into the back of the barn for something and he would see that mangled bicycle on which his son had died. Every time he saw that bike, the father would break down and weep all over again. It seemed that even the years of time never eased the father’s pain. The living son, the one who told the story, said that as he grew up he remember again and again his father’s tears. Then, on day, the living son was saved and came to Christ. After he was saved, the living son said that he prayed in his heart that he would never get over the cross of Jesus. He prayed that every time he thought about the cross on which Jesus died for him, that he would feel the pain of sorrow that his sins had caused the death of the Lord.

Let me tell you, church, we must never get over the cross. Even in heaven we will sing about it! We will lift our voices to say that Jesus is worthy of all praise because He died for us!

More than four-hundred years before Jesus was born, a Greek poet wrote, "Even God cannot change the past." Historically speaking, he was right, what has happened cannot be undone. Yet when God sent His Son to die on the cross for our sins, He provided a way whereby our sinful past could be erased. A poet once wrote, "I wish there were a land of beginning again."  Well, there is! "...the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin"(1 John 1:7).

So, we shall sing because of the scroll, because of the sacrifice, but we shall also sing for another reason.

III. We Shall Sing about the Salvation - The Deliverance

As John listen to the saints singing in heaven, he heard them delineate issues that precipitate praise.

A. The Purchase

Note that we shall sing in heaven of the fact that we were purchased from sin through the blood of Jesus. There are some churches, I am told, that no longer mention the blood of Christ and will not sing any hymn that speaks of it. Well, now, how are they going to sing in heaven? We are told clearly in the passage before us that the saints in heaven will sing about the blood of Jesus shed for our sins. I suppose, my friends, if you will not sing about the blood of Jesus, you aren’t going to be in heaven at all!

God told Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden that sin requires death. Their sin and ours has caused death to pass on to all human flesh. We have no perfect life to give God – that was lost in Eden and lost in our own deeds. But, that is what God requires in order for us to have a relationship with Him and for us to live with Him in eternity. Jesus came to provide that perfect life for us. When I turned to Him faith, confessing my sin, trusting Him as Lord and Savior, He gave me His perfect life. At the cross He died in my place, shedding His own blood for me. He rose from the grave to assure me that I, too, shall rise to live with Him forever. No wonder they were singing in heaven and we are singing in our churches. We sing because He paid the price to purchase our redemption.

B. The People

Who are these people singing before the Lord in heaven? Why, they are people from all over the world and from every age. Note that the Bible says that they are from every “tribe, and tongue and people and nation.” Wow! The Lord has opened the door to people of every race, every nationality, and every language to be a part of His eternal kingdom. On this earth it seems that there is so much that divides us. It is difficult to get people to work and live with peace with each other. But, oh what a day is coming! All the redeemed will be one people, lifting our voices to praise King Jesus!

C. The Purpose

Now, I must hasten to a close of this message. Let me share lastly, the purpose of our redemption. For certain the redemption of our souls is for the glory of Christ – that is why we see the saints singing “Worthy is the Lamb” in heaven. But, also, note that we are to reign with Christ. He sues us here but we will not sit down on some fluffy cloud in heaven after we die. No! God has work for us to do. I don’t know all that this means, but I know we will reign with Him and serve Him. Just think of it. We will never be tempted to stray from His side! We will never find ourselves lacking understanding of His will. We will never grow weary in well-doing. We will serve Him, love Him and enjoy His presence forever.


Louis Albert Banks tells of an elderly Christian man, a fine singer, who learned that he had cancer of the tongue and that surgery was required. In the hospital after everything was ready for the operation, the man said to the doctor, "Are you sure I will never sing again?" The surgeon found it difficult to answer his question. He simply shook his head to indicate that the patient would never sing again. The patient then asked if he could sit up for a moment. "I've had many good times singing the praises of God," he said. "And now you tell me I can never sing again. I have one song that will be my last. It will be of gratitude and praise to God." There in the doctor's presence the man sang softly the words of Isaac Watts' hymn:

"I'll praise my Maker while I've breath,

And when my voice is lost in death,

Praise shall employ my nobler powers;

My days of praise shall ne'er be past,

While life, and thought, and being last,

Or immortality endures."

Dear friends, for those who are redeemed, the voice will never be lost, never be weakened, and never be faint in singing the praise of Jesus.

Our song is “Worthy is the Lamb.” We shall join with thousands of thousands and ten-thousand times ten-thousand and sing till the rafters of heaven tremble. What a day that shall be. We will sing to the risen Lamb of God who saved us by His blood, from every nation, trible and people, and we shall be with Him forever! We will see the risen Lord that that the disciples saw after His crucifixtion and resurrection. We shall see the scars he will bear as a testimony forever of His love for our poor souls. We will sing and serve! What a day that will be!

Worthy is the Lamb, now and always!