What does the word “worthy” mean to you? The word “worth” carries with it the idea of “value”. In the financial arena, we determine something’s worth by what we are willing to pay or trade for it. The word is also used in an emotional sense…”you are not worth the trouble”…So I suppose the word “worthy” has to do with value. In Revelation 5 the word “worthy” takes center stage. The drama opens with a scroll. We don’t know exactly what the scroll represents but it is important and valuable. The question is raised, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?” and no one steps up. But then John sees a Lamb that had been slain. It’s obvious that this is a vision of Jesus. Then angels and the living creatures and the “elders” proclaim that this Lamb, Jesus, is worthy to open the scroll and the reason given is because He had been “slain”. Here is verse 9: 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.” Then in verse 12: 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!”
The Lamb is not worthy because of His power or His great teaching, both of which were clearly on display in the earthly life of Jesus. Rather, He is worthy because He was “slain”. Jesus is worthy because He laid down His life for the sins of mankind and has provided redemption. Of all the reasons we can exalt Jesus and promote His example and life, the most compelling reason is that He was slain. He offered His life for each of us. This is why the angels cry out “worthy”. I pray that you cry out the same thing. I pray that you have received the free gift of forgiveness and redemption offered to you by the Lamb that was slain. Jesus is worthy!