Revelation 5:1–7 (NKJV)
After describing the scene for the vision, John moves on to recount the scroll which would reveal the future events from the vision. He then describes the One worthy to open the scroll.
1 And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals. 2 Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?” 3 And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it.Revelation 5:1-3
In this passage, John tells of seeing the scroll written on the outside and inside in the right hand of the Lord as He sat on the throne. The scroll had seven seals, and a strong angel made a proclamation to all present, asking, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?” To the chagrin of the angel and those present, no one in heaven or on earth came forth who was able to open the scroll. No one could even look at it, for they were not worthy.
4 So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it. 5 But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.”Revelation 5:4-5
John began to weep due to the absence of one worthy to open the scroll. One of the elders offered comfort, encouraging John to cease weeping. This elder seemed to know that One called the Lion of the tribe of Judah had prevailed and was able to open the scroll. He was the root of David (the rightful King to sit on the throne of Israel), and would loose the seven seals of the scroll.
6 And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7 Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.Revelation 5:6-7
The vision then shifts from the disappointment that no one could open the scroll to a vision of a Lamb. This lamb stood in the midst of the throne, the four living creatures, the elders, and it appeared to have been killed, slain, but yet was alive and standing. This Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, representing the seven Spirits of God sent out into the earth. Eyes have often been associated with omniscience, especially in relation to God. These seven eyes represent the eyes of God roaming the earth, seeing and knowing all that happens. The horns can represent power or authority, especially in the political sense. While these things are not necessarily crystal-clear, they do point to the idea of the Messiah, the slain Lamb, being a ruler and an all-knowing Lord who will rule and reign well over the earth. There is some question as to why the Lamb was not present to begin with when the call was made for someone to open the seals. This could point to the fact that Jesus’ salvific work was not complete until His death and resurrection. He appeared to “save the day” and take the scroll from the right hand of the One Who held it. He had accomplished His mission and was now ready to reveal the events of the last days, now set as part of the plan of salvation history which the Lamb has just cemented by His work as a sacrifice for the sins of mankind, and the resurrected King of the redeemed. Jesus made the plan for the end possible by completing the plan for mankind through His death and resurrection.