To receive power - That is, Jesus Christ is worthy to take, λαβειν, to have ascribed to him, power - omnipotence; riches - beneficence; wisdom - omniscience; strength - power in prevalent exercise; honor - the highest reputation for what he has done; glory - the praise due to such actions; and blessing - the thankful acknowledgments of the whole creation. Here are seven different species of praise; and this is exactly agreeable to the rabbinical forms, which the author of this book keeps constantly in view. See Sepher Rasiel, fol. 39, 2: "To thee belongs כבוד cabod, glory; גדולה gedulah, magnitude; גבורה geburah, might; הממלכה hammamlakah, the kingdom; התפארת hattiphereth, the honor; הנצח hannetsach, the victory; וההוד vehahod, and the praise."
Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain - See the notes on Revelation 5:2, Revelation 5:9. The idea here is, that the fact that he was slain, or was made a sacrifice for sin, was the ground or reason for what is here ascribed to him. Compare the notes on Revelation 5:5.
To receive power - Power or authority to rule over all things. Compare notes on Matthew 28:18. The meaning here is, that he was worthy that these things should be ascribed to him, or to be addressed and acknowledged as possessing them. A part of these things were his in virtue of his very nature - as wisdom, glory, riches; a part were conferred on him as the result of his work - as the mediatorial dominion over the universe, the honor resulting from his work, etc. In view of all that he was, and of all that he has done, he is here spoken of as “worthy” of all these things.
And riches - Abundance. That is, he is worthy that whatever contributes to honor, and glory, and happiness, should be conferred on him in abundance. Himself the original proprietor of all things, it is fit that he should be recognized as such; and having performed the work which he has, it is proper that whatever may be made to contribute to his honor should be regarded as his.
And wisdom - That he should be esteemed as eminently wise; that is, that as the result of the work which he has accomplished, he should be regarded as having ability to choose the best ends and the best means to accomplish them. The feeling here referred to is what arises from the contemplation of the work of salvation by the Redeemer, as a work eminently characterized by wisdom - wisdom manifested in meeting the evils of the fall; in honoring the law; in showing that mercy is consistent with justice; and in adapting the whole plan to the character and needs of man. If wisdom was anywhere demanded, it was in reconciling a lost world to God; if it has been anywhere displayed, it has been in the arrangements for that work, and in its execution by the Redeemer. See the notes on 1 Corinthians 1:24; compare Matthew 13:54; Luke 2:40, Luke 2:52; 1 Corinthians 1:20-21, 1 Corinthians 1:30; Ephesians 1:8; Ephesians 3:10.
And strength - Ability to accomplish his purposes. That is, it is meet that he should be regarded as having such ability. This strength or power was manifested in overcoming the great enemy of man; in his control of winds, and storms, and diseases, and devils; in triumphing over death; in saving his people.
And honor - He should be esteemed and treated with honor for what he has done.
And glory - This word refers to a higher ascription of praise than the word honor. Perhaps that might refer to the honor which we feel in our hearts; this to the expression of that by the language of praise.
And blessing - Everything which would express the desire that he might be happy, honored, and adored. To bless one is to desire that he may have happiness and prosperity; that he may be successful, respected, and honored. To bless God, or to ascribe blessing to him, is that state where the heart is full of love and gratitude, and where it desires that he may be everywhere honored, loved, and obeyed as he should be. The words here express the wish that the universe would ascribe to the Redeemer all honor, and that he might be everywhere loved and adored.
With unutterable love, Jesus welcomes His faithful ones to the joy of their Lord. The Saviour's joy is in seeing, in the kingdom of glory, the souls that have been saved by His agony and humiliation. And the redeemed will be sharers in His joy, as they behold, among the blessed, those who have been won to Christ through their prayers, their labors, and their loving sacrifice. As they gather about the great white throne, gladness unspeakable will fill their hearts, when they behold those whom they have won for Christ, and see that one has gained others, and these still others, all brought into the haven of rest, there to lay their crowns at Jesus’ feet and praise Him through the endless cycles of eternity. GC 647.1
As the ransomed ones are welcomed to the City of God, there rings out upon the air an exultant cry of adoration. The two Adams are about to meet. The Son of God is standing with outstretched arms to receive the father of our race—the being whom He created, who sinned against his Maker, and for whose sin the marks of the crucifixion are borne upon the Saviour's form. As Adam discerns the prints of the cruel nails, he does not fall upon the bosom of his Lord, but in humiliation casts himself at His feet, crying: “Worthy, worthy is the Lamb that was slain!” Tenderly the Saviour lifts him up and bids him look once more upon the Eden home from which he has so long been exiled. GC 647.2
After his expulsion from Eden, Adam's life on earth was filled with sorrow. Every dying leaf, every victim of sacrifice, every blight upon the fair face of nature, every stain upon man's purity, was a fresh reminder of his sin. Terrible was the agony of remorse as he beheld iniquity abounding, and, in answer to his warnings, met the reproaches cast upon himself as the cause of sin. With patient humility he bore, for nearly a thousand years, the penalty of transgression. Faithfully did he repent of his sin and trust in the merits of the promised Saviour, and he died in the hope of a resurrection. The Son of God redeemed man's failure and fall; and now, through the work of the atonement, Adam is reinstated in his first dominion. GC 647.3Read in context »
By faith look upon the crowns laid up for those who shall overcome; listen to the exultant song of the redeemed, Worthy, worthy is the Lamb that was slain and hast redeemed us to God! Endeavor to regard these scenes as real. Stephen, the first Christian martyr, in his terrible conflict with principalities and powers, and spiritual wickedness in high places, exclaimed, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.” The Saviour of the world was revealed to him as looking down from heaven upon him with the deepest interest; and the glorious light of Christ's countenance shone upon Stephen with such brightness that even his enemies saw his face shine like the face of an angel. MYP 113.1
If we would permit our minds to dwell more upon Christ and the heavenly world, we should find a powerful stimulus and support in fighting the battles of the Lord. Pride and love of the world will lose their power as we contemplate the glories of that better land so soon to be our home. Beside the loveliness of Christ, all earthly attractions will seem of little worth. MYP 113.2Read in context »
In that glad day ... the ransomed ones will exclaim: “Worthy, worthy, is the Lamb that was slain, and lives again, a triumphant Conqueror.” What joy the worker will then feel in going to those to whom he has spoken with trembling and in fearfulness—those to whom he has opened the Scriptures and with whom he has prayed, thus balancing their souls on the right side.... All His providences will then be made plain.—Manuscript 102, 1904. RC 243.9Read in context »