“written within and on the back” v1, The scroll represents the full will of God concerning the 7 churches future. Their persecution is to be faced in the same way as our persecution. In Rev. 10, there is another book representing what Ezekiel prophesies, but here in Chapter 5 this is not Ezekiel’s book, that will come later. This scroll is sealed with 7 seals, showing it’s immediate relation to the church’s fulfillment, Daniel 12:4-9.
“who is worthy” v2, this is the reason why John weeps. It is not a matter of power to open the scroll but a matter of someone being responsible for the control & development of what is to follow, whoever steps forward is clearly involved in a decisive role. Without a worthy person, everyone and everything else is doomed. The destiny of the churches is in the hands of whoever is found worthy. God the Father on the throne is worthy, but He has not and can not be in the hearts of those who are suffering. Jesus has, but isn’t in the scene as of yet.
“no one…under the earth” v3, even past prophets from the grave, like Moses, Samuel or Elijah are not worthy. Not even the Might Angel issuing the question feels worthy. However, Jesus the victorious resurrection is not seen yet, but in John’s heart he knows Jesus should be there.
“weep not, behold the Lion” v5, We have good reason to find a cause to rejoice. Jesus said in this world we have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world”, Jn. 16:33. Indeed we weep with those who weep but we do not sorrow as those who have no hope, 1Thes. 4;13. Our pain in any kind of trial or temptation is known by Jesus and His Spirit that resides in us, Col. 1:24. “the Root of David”, Jesus came from David and was of the Tribe of Judah, Hebrews 7:14, and he was declared to be the Son of God from the seed of David, Romans 1:3-4. He claimed to have authority over the house of David, Rev. 3:7. The significance of this lay in the fact that Jesus is King of kings then and now, until the time is fulfilled and He delivers His Kingdom to the Father, 1st Cor. 15:24.
“A Lamb standing as if slain” v6, Literally the marks of slaughter, but He was alive & standing. “7 horns, 7 eyes, 7 Spirits of God, representing all-sufficient working power and presence. With this reality amongst the churches, we must face the war of Satan’s terrorism and overcome evil with good. In 2nd Chron. 16:8-9 Israel failed, but we can succeed, Mat. 28:18.
“harps and golden bowls of incense” v8. The prayers and praise of Christians is represented by harps & bowls because their pleas are both emotional, pleasing and a logical sacrifice, see 1st Corinthians 14:13-15 & Hebrews 13:15. We will see more of the harps and bowls of incense, Rev. 15:2. Great comfort comes from the fact that God hears and smells our praise & prayers like beautiful music and wonderful aromas, even when we are hurting in trials.
“Sang a new song” v9, This is reminiscent of the Song of Moses and may be compared to Rev. 15:3-4. Except here in 5:9-10 the emphasis is redemption, whereas back in Exodus 15:1-18 the emphasis is victory in deliverance, here the victory is the Lamb’s deliverance through the punishment for sin, triumphing over death. Love for his creation was the only way to bring about salvation and transform sinners into a Kingdom of Priests pronounced in v10, remember Ex. 19:5-6 & 1st Peter 2:9. No matter what this priesthood must sacrifice they will be praising Jesus for their victory of deliverance. No matter the costly casualties, we win and sing about it. In Mat. 21:43 Jesus claimed that physical Israel would lose the Kingdom and true spiritual Israel would be people that bore the Kingdom’s fruit.
“Many Angels” v11, an innumerable mighty host is for us, who can be against us? All the angels know how factual 1st John 4:4 really is. Do we believe it?
“Every Created Thing” v13, Total submission of the entire creation in praise, Hebrews 1:3, 11:3, Col. 1:17 & Romans 8:18-22. Do you receive courage from this passage, or does it instill fear?