“Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying:
“You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth“
Three groups worship from verse 8 to the end of the chapter. First, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders worship in verses 8-10, and then all creation worships in verses 11 to 14.
Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
Each participant had a musical instrument for worship–a harp. Evidently, musicians will make it to heaven!! This speaks of praise.
The gold bowls stored the intercessory prayers of the saints. This shows something of the worth of prayer. Incense burned in the Old Testament temple and gave off a pleasing odor ascending to God. Incense portrays Christ. He is our authority to lift prayer to God.
And they sang a new song, saying:
The purpose of this “new song” is to affirm the worth of the Lamb to remove the seals of judgment. Only Christ is worthy to execute judgment on the earth. Only He has the qualifications.
You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals;
Jesus is the only one worthy to judge the world, for He is the only one who ever lived without sin. Therefore, He is worthy of our worship and adoration.
John now gives the reasons for worshiping Jesus and demonstrating His worth.
You were slain,
First, Jesus was slain. Jesus took my hell that I might have His heaven. This is His substitutionary death for sins. He was my substitute on the cross. I should have died for my sins, but He died for me.
And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
Secondly, Jesus’ redeemed us for God by His blood. The word “redeemed” means paid. The basic idea is to purchase in the market. Jesus paid for all sins of all time, past, present and future. There is no more suffering that needs to be suffered for sins. His death effectively satisfied God’s demands for payment for sins. That payment is a completed fact.
There is no promotion from hell, and there is no demotion from heaven. We reside in both for eternity. The difference that determines the location where we reside is faith in the blood of Christ to forgive sins.
And have made us kings and priests to our God;
Jesus made those who believe in Him to be “kings and priests to our God.” The term “kings” implies that Christians will reign in a kingdom. The word “priests” indicates we can represent men to God.
And we shall reign on the earth’”
Christians will reign on earth. The church does not rule on earth now, but it will rule in a future kingdom, the Millennial Kingdom.
Jesus took my hell that I might have His heaven.
Jesus is worthy of praise because He provided eternal life for all those who believe in Him. He took our hell that we might have His heaven.
Jesus was the only person qualified to die for the sins of the world because He was the only perfect person. As a perfect person, He did not have to die at all. However, because of His love for us, He took our place of suffering for sin. No more suffering needs to be suffered for sin. Jesus did it all, all to Him we owe. This is the basis of our worship.