“And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation” Revelation 5:9
Over the years we have been asked several times how we have been able to deal with men and women who have given their lives to crime. How have we been able to deal with murderers, prostitutes, child abusers, elements of the drug trade and the cartels? The above verse is my best answer.
The scene that we see in Revelation 5 takes place in heaven. To John was revealed a glimpse of the future that only God holds in his hands. ” 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” (Revelation 5:1). The scroll being opened signifies the revealing of future world history. John wept! There seems to be nobody that is able to open the scroll. Then, all of a sudden, one of the heavenly beings says, ” Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof” (5:5). He is speaking of Christ Jesus, the Jew’s Messiah, the world’s Savior! He is the conqueror by means of his death and resurrection! Then John says: ” And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth” (5:6).
Then all the heavenly beings that were around the throne fall down and began to worship Christ. They sing a new song. The lyrics of this new song proclaim that Christ is worthy to open the scroll and reveal the events of the future because of his death and resurrection. The implication is that Christ’s death was necessary to accomplish God’s global purposes in history. “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; ” (5:9).
Christ was willing to die so that he might save a great diversity of peoples. The Scriptures teach us that sin is no respecter of peoples or cultures. All peoples have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Every race and culture needs to be reconciled to God. Just as the curse of sin is global, so God’s remedy is also global. Jesus, seeing the agony that awaited him in the garden and at the cross, spoke boldly about his purpose: ” And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me” (John 12:32). As he was preparing for his death he was embracing the WHOLE world.
Though Christianity may have begun in the East over the centuries there has been a major shift to the West, but increasingly now, Christianity is not a Western religion. This is no surprise to Christ. The global impact of Christ’s death was foretold by David in the Book of Psalms: “All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee” (Psalm 22:27). “O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Selah” (Psalm 67:4). So when Jesus came to the end of his ministry on earth, before submitting himself to the cross, he made his mission clear: “And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:46-47). The command that he gave to his disciples was unmistakable: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.: “ (Matthew 28:19-20).
That is why we are in the prisons. Jesus Christ is not a tribal deity, nor does he belong to one culture or one ethnic group. He is “… the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). There is no difference between the Jew nor the Greek (or the good sinner from the bad sinner). Our Lord, Jesus Christ, is Lord of all and bestows his riches on all who call on him. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13). We thank the Lord because we have seen many of these incarcerated call on His name and find the Savior of their souls.