Rev.5:1 – 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.
The opening of this scroll lies at the very center of God’s purposes and man’s eternal destiny. The words of this scroll contain the future of man and the future of this planet. This event, witnessed by John in his vision, is the culmination of all things. John has just realized one man, the Son of Man, is able to open this book. It is terrifying and exciting at the same time. In it we see the reward of the righteous and the wrath of God released on those who have rejected Christ’s kingdom.
There have been many theories put forward about what this scroll actually is. I believe it is somehow connected to the solemn agreement between the Father and the Son. In eternity, the eternal Son of God agreed to become a human to redeem our fallen race. The Father made promises to His Son about the ramifications of His eternal sacrifice. The results of Christ becoming a man, salvation to those who believe in Him and judgement and eternal suffering to those who don’t. This book seems to unlock the results of that contract. Here are some thoughts from Ellicott on this scroll.
“But what is meant by the book? Numberless interpretations have been offered: it is the Old Testament; it is the whole Bible; it is the title-deed of man’s inheritance; it is the book containing the sentence of judgment on the foes of the faith; it is the Apocalypse; it is part of the Apocalypse; it is the book of God’s purposes and providence. There is a truth underlying most of these interpretations, but most of them narrow the force of the vision. If we say it is the book which unfolds the principles of God’s government—in a wide sense, the book of salvation, the interpretation of life, which Christ alone can bestow, we shall include, probably, the practical truths which underlie each of these interpretations; for all—Old Testament and New, man’s heritage and destiny, God’s purposes and providence— are dark, till He who is the Light unfolds those truths which shed a light on all. Such a book becomes one “which contains and interprets human history,” and claims the kingdoms of the earth for God….There are things which are hidden from the wise and prudent, but revealed unto babes.”
When I read about the opening of this scroll I am filled with joyful anticipation and terror at the same time. I have to hide myself in Christ, He is the only protection from the coming storm.