We live in a music-filled world. Earbuds for iPods are so common we no longer are surprised to see them. MP3 players abound. We hear music in stores, restaurants, on radios, TVs and in elevators. With all that music, how often do we really have something worthwhile to sing about?

In Revelation 5:8-10, the heavenly host “sang a new song,” exalting the Lord because of redemption. The text continues by describing the worthwhile subjects of that singing and worship: the Lamb and the Lord.

Christ Is Worthy of Song Because of Sacrifice (Revelation 5:11-12)
The heavenly scene seems to be organized in concentric circles. The Lamb, our Lord Jesus Christ, is in the center. The 24 elders and the four living creatures circle Him in worship. In ever expanding circles around them are the angelic hosts, “numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand” (v. 5:11, NIV). This is a total greater than 100 million.

On May 27, 2009, the new Dallas Cowboys stadium was completed. The stadium seats 80,000 and has a maximum capacity of 110,000 including standing room. It is the largest domed stadium in the world. Imagine that in the center of the playing field is a raised platform on which the owner is seated. Around him in ever increasing circles are the coaches, players and the fans filling the entire stadium to its capacity. To match the heavenly scene in Revelation 5, you would need a stadium 909 times larger than the Cowboys’.

This heavenly scene is stupendous and is all to glorify the Lamb. Although 5:12 literally states this heavenly throng “said in a loud voice,” the NIV correctly translates it as “they sang,” carrying on the idea from the singing of verse 5:9.

The focus of the singing is on the Lamb who is worthy because He was slaughtered. This word was used in ancient Greek to denote the slaughter of sacrificial animals, as well as the violent deaths of people. Jesus is viewed as the slain Passover Lamb who shed His blood to redeem us from our sins.

In marked contrast to Jesus’ human experiences when He shared our weariness, sorrow, poverty and pain, He now is restored to His manifested heavenly position. The Greek text has one definite article that pulls together the seven parts of this doxology. The Lamb displays: power; material, spiritual and moral wealth; wisdom (true insight); and strength. There is no wonder why He is worthy of honor: because of His immeasurable value; of glory, because His perfect character and reputation are visible; and of praise, because all praise is due to Him.

Having completed the majestic song of praise to the Lamb, the heavenly scene lifts its singing to greater heights of praise to the Lamb and the Lord, the Father of all.

Christ Is Worthy of Worship Because of Union (Revelation 5:13-14)
The scene expands. It now includes not merely the heavenly host, but all of creation. Every living being in all of creation joins in this mighty choir of worship. The Lamb and the Father are worthy of worship because of their union with one another. Jesus Christ is the One who came to Earth and sacrificed His life, but we must never forget the Father also sacrificed His Son (John 3:16).

Together, the Father and the Son receive the repeated praise, honor, glory and power. Each of these words has the Greek definite article with it and stresses that this doxology builds like a great tower of praise to the Father and the Son. This praise will last into the infinite future, “forever and ever,” to the ages of the ages.

What is the only suitable response to the Father and Son? We see it in verse 5:14. The four living creatures said, “Amen,” a word spoken in confirmation of the praise given. The 24 elders demonstrate their confirmation not by word but by action. They “fell down and worshiped.” Worship is the adoration of God by those who know Him and submit to Him. That will be certain in the heavenly scene. We need to make it real in our lives now.

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