Worthy of Praise
This past Sunday when we assembled around the Lord’s table to commemorate our Savior’s death, burial, and resurrection - we were reminded of Jesus’ worthiness of praise. The apostle John, who by the Spirit, was brought before the throne of God in heaven (Revelation 4:1-2). Out from the throne, John saw flashes of lightning and the sounds and peals of thunder (4:5). John was not the first prophet to stand before the throne of God. The prophet Isaiah was called by God to stand before His throne and there Isaiah heard the Seraphim call out to one another – “Holy, Holy, Holy…” (Isaiah 6:1-3). The prophet Ezekiel saw a wheel in the sky which represented the throne of God (Ezekiel 1). The apostle John was in the presence of the Almighty God.
The same chorus sung by the Seraphim in Isaiah’s vision was repeated by the elders and living creatures of John’s vision – “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God, Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come” (Revelation 4:8b). We cannot begin to imagine the glory, the brilliance, nor the beauty of John’s vision of heaven and the throne of God. The God of all creation is worthy “…to receive glory and honor and power; for He created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created” (4:11). Our God is holy and worthy of our praise!
As John continued to describe the vision of God’s throne, he saw the One sitting on the throne holding a book which had been sealed with seven seals. A question was asked in heaven – “Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?” (Revelation 5:2b). A search found that no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was worthy to open the seven seals. The apostle John began to weep because of this news, but then an elder said – “Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals” (5:5). Immediately John turned and saw “a Lamb standing, as if slain” (5:6). When the Lamb had taken the book from the One who sat upon the throne, the living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down and began to sing a new song –
9 And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. 10 “You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth (5:9-10).
The Lamb of God had conquered death and taken away the sins of the world (John 1:29; Revelation 1:18). Jesus sat down at the righthand of the Father, where He reigns as King of kings and Lord of lords, and He is worthy of our praise!
Our Savior is worthy of praise, because He has done the impossible on our behalf. Jesus came and shared in flesh and blood, yet without sin (Hebrews 2:14; 4:15-16). He became the supreme sacrifice for all of mankind (Hebrews 9:23-25). It is through His blood that our sins can be forgiven, and it is through His resurrection that we find our hope in heaven! While we were still sinners and enemies of God, Jesus loved us and died for us, so that through Him we can be called, justified, and ultimately glorified (Romans 5:8; 8:28-30)! My Lord and my God who is worthy of praise – may our hearts be humbled by Your priceless gift of Your Son and His sacrifice on our behalf.
How will we respond to the Lamb of God who is worthy of all praise? When the man who had been born blind found himself in the presence of Jesus, he worshiped Him – “Lord, I believe” (John 9:38). When Thomas, who had been absent and doubted Jesus’ resurrection, stood in the presence of Jesus, he worshiped Him – “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:24-28). When we find ourself in the presence of our Lord and Savior and before His throne – how will we respond? Holy, Holy, Holy is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and end, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty. Worthy of praise is our God and His Son and the Holy Spirit!