And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.…
I. "A BOOK, WRITTEN WITHIN AND ON THE BACK WITH SEVEN SEALS."
1. It is the book of redemption. Its central thought is the Cross, which is the wisdom of God and the power of God.
2. This book is complete; it is "written within and on the back," both sides of the parchment covered. God's plan of redemption is round and full. Its last word is "Finis," and there is room for no other.
3. The book was "close sealed with seven seals." In the ages before Christ the great problem was how God could be just and yet the justifier of the ungodly. Three sentiments were struggling in all human breasts: the conviction of sin, the intuitive apprehension of death, and the trembling hope that God, in some wise, would deliver. The solution of the difficulty was hid within this volume of the Divine decrees — hid by the Father, to be revealed in fulness of time unto us.
II. A LAMB AS IT HAD BEEN SLAIN. And this Lamb took the book out of the right hand of God and opened it. The opening of this book of the Divine decrees concerning the redemption of man is like daybreak after an Egyptian night. As to this Lamb observe —
1. He bore in His person the tokens of death. Our Lord Jesus wears in glory the honourable scars of His service on earth. Why did the Lord Jesus die? That so, in our behalf, He might triumph over death: That so He might prevail to open the book of life end immortality.
2. The place where the Lamb stood is significant: it was "in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders." Where else should He stand who ever liveth to make intercession for us, the Mediator of the new covenant, the only One between God and men. John Bunyan was at one time sorely troubled to know how the Lord Jesus could be both man and God. "At last that in Revelation 5:6 came into my mind: 'And, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the elders stood a Lamb.' — 'In the midst of the throne,' thought I — there is the Godhead; 'in the midst of the elders' — there is the manhood; but, oh, methought this did glister! It was a goodly touch, and gave me sweet satisfaction."
3. He had seven horns. The horn is the emblem of power. The name of Jesus is The Mighty to Save.
4. He had seven eyes, which are the fulness of the Divine Spirit sent forth into all the earth. We are now living under the dispensation of this Spirit, who goeth to and fro everywhere like multitudinous eyes to see into all hearts and perceive all secret imaginations, ever watchful for truth and righteousness, to the end that all souls and all nations presently may be brought under the peaceful sway of the Lamb. The horns of Divine power and the eyes of Divine wisdom are grandly and perpetually co-working towards this consummation so devoutly to be wished.
III. OH, THEN WHAT A SONG, when heaven and earth shall join in ascribing praises to Him that was dead, but is alive again, and liveth for evermore, and hath the keys of death and hell!
1. It will be a new song. The fresh mercies of God call, even here, for perpetual renewals of thanksgiving. Stale praises are in no wise better than stale manna. But how will it be in the kingdom? The songs yonder must keep pace with the perpetually new unveilings of Divine love.
2. And it will be a universal song, joined in by "the redeemed tenantry of heaven end earth, the angels of the sky, and grateful inmates of the ocean and the air."
(D. J. Burrell, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.