Bible Book: Revelation / Openbaring
Chapter: 5
Verse: 1
Verse (to): 14


Text: Revelation 5:1-14

In the first verses of Revelation 5 we read about John’s dismay that no-one could be found who was worthy to open the scroll “in the right hand of him who sat on the throne” (cf verses 1 and 4). Fortunately one of the elders showed John that there was One who was able to do it.
In verses 5 and 6 the One who can open the scroll is introduced to us. In verse 5 He is called the Lion of the tribe of Judah. Verse 6 describes Him as the Lamb with seven horns and seven eyes. With words and images reminding us of the Old Testament Christ is presented to us here as the victor who deserves all the honour and praise (cf. verses 12 and 13).
Take note of the fact that John says in verse 6 that this Lamb looks “as though it had been slain”. The word “slain” returns in verse 9 when the four living creatures and 24 elders sing, “because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God”. This description reminds us of the story of Thomas’ encounter with the risen Christ. In John 20:19-31 we read that the risen Jesus showed Thomas the signs of his crucifixion, inviting him to look and to touch.
This makes me wonder about the following: We worship Christ who carries the signs of his death on the cross – what is our reaction when we notice the wounds of our fellow-men and fellow-believers?
Putting it differently: We serve the crucified Christ together, but does our community of believers form a safe haven for the sharing of our shortcomings, sins and wounds with others?
Still closer to home: Do I have the confidence to show my wounds to my fellow-believers?
Christ’s wounds, his death on the cross were the result of the sins of others. He who is without sin died as a result of our sins. Our wounds and the wounds of our fellow-men and fellow-believers are different. Sometimes they are a result of our own sins, sometimes a result of the sins of others, and sometimes the result of the brokenness of our world.
Perhaps you know about congregations that embrace and care for the wounded with a wonderful love. This is a reason for immense gratitude.  Unfortunately, however, many of the stories concerning the AIDS pandemic show that when people get the impression that somebody’s wounds are the result of sin – especially their own sins – this spontaneous support changes into indifference and even judgment.
There is healing for our wounds with Christ who was crucified and had risen from the grave. There should be a likewise healing for the wounded – whatever the reason may be – in Christian communities. Because Christ, the crucified, is our Lord, we should know how to handle our wounded fellow-men and fellow-believers with gentleness.
To think about (or discuss): What can I do to make the communion of believers to which I belong a safer environment for the wounded?
Author: N du Toit (Ds)
Language: English