“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped
The word “worthy” essentially means, “pertaining to having a relatively high degree of comparable merit or worth— ‘worthy, comparable, of comparable value, worthily.” The idea is about measuring the value of something based on a comparable weight like a set of scales where the value or worth of something was measure by what balanced the scale to indicate the “comparative” value of something. The larger context of Revelation 5 grappled with the crisis of discovering no one worthy to open the book held by the One who sat on the throne (5:1). John began to “weep greatly” (3) because of this impossible dilemma. But the angel tells John to stop weeping because there was one who was worthy. This One was the lion from Judah and the root of David (v. 5). John describes this one as the “Lamb” which was slain. He alone was sufficient to satisfy the wrath of the Father on the ungodliness of humanity; he alone was a proper substitute that was adequate as our representative; he alone was righteous and pure to deal with the unrighteousness of humanity… this one was Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God.
What is he worthy of? It is staggering to read this description. He is worthy to receive power, wealth, wisdom, glory, and blessing. The Father bestows on the Son the highest of honors and He alone is worthy of praise and adoration from all creation. The four living creatures, those cherubim that are guardians (so to speak) of God’s holiness, affirm the worthiness of the Lamb by shouting “amen” and the Elders fall down and worship.
The Father is the one who has the right to give these honors to the Son. We cannot do it because we do not have the power or the authority to grant those entitlements. We are the creatures not the creator; we are finite, the rewards are infinite. We cannot give what we do not possess. We cannot bestow such honors if we do not have the right to give them.
What we can give is our “amen” and our worship. Our response is to acknowledge the authority of the Father to designate His own Son to these rewards (for lack of a better term). Christ is worthy because he was slain, and he has overcome (v. 5). What an appropriate response from those created by God. We submit to God’s authority and affirm that personally; by saying the “amen” to God’s declaration of the One worthy of these accolades, we honor Him.
Worship is not about singing songs as much as dedication of life. We often limit worship to Sunday morning activities but as we move through the writings of Paul, we discover this in Romans 12:1 – Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
Worship is about being completely given to serve the Lord. There is nothing here that speaks to radical Christianity compared to what is “normal”. This is the normal Christian response to all the mercies of God. Some people, because of how they are wired, are better motivated as seeing this as a duty. However, the clear indication here is our dedication is not because of duty, but the mercies of God. How much freedom we can have when we think of this as the greatest honor rather than a responsibility to fulfill.
Paul captured this in Philippians when he considered everything to be rubbish compared to the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus His Lord. The idea of living full out for Christ is not defined by any personality type. It is about living in vital relationship with Christ because of His great mercies.
Christ is worthy of our praise, adoration, and worship. He is worthy of our lives. Living in a manner that is fully devoted to Christ is not radical Christianity, it is reasonable. As we celebrate the advent of Christ, the message of hope rings clear and resonates in the heart of all true believers. There is no greater hope, no greater honor, no greater privilege than to serve and worship the Lamb of God that was slain for our sin.
In His grace,