I’m struck by John’s confession in Revelation 5:4, in part because it seems at first so alien to us:
“But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or even to look in it. And I cried and cried because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or even to look in it.” – Revelation 5:3-4
Why would the old apostle be so torn up about getting a scroll looked at? It feels like one of those distant, stained-glass religious enigmas that we know we should care about more, but don’t, try as we might. A matter for saints and philosophers, while we stagger about just hoping that we’ll find a cheaper daycare next month, or that our boss will be on vacation just for one day tomorrow.
But then I realize, this is a longing we’re all sharing: the search for a hero. The hero to end all heroes, and to end all sufferings.
Heaven knows where we’ve looked for that. Self, others, philosophies, substances, even death itself.
Revelation 5 presents the final obstacle to which no hero can be found, something against which nobody and nothing will ever cut the mustard.
Benson’s commentary says, “Without tears the Revelation was not written, neither can it without tears be understood.” In some profound way, the scroll of Revelation 5:4 is the final boss, the league championship, the holy grail of suffering itself. We have no answer. No pastor, author, political figure, relationship, or accomplishment will satisfy mankind’s desperate longing to be finished with suffering – no more resurrections a la Palpatine in Episode IX, no more of that old Eastern instinct of “it will always come back around”. An end. To match the beginning.
And then Revelation 5:5 finds someone worthy.
Thanks to my friend Nate for turning me on to this:
I’ll let that end this post.
I’m glad you tuned in today. If you found this post to be of value, please feel free to share it on social media. Thanks a bunch!