John mentions a scroll sealed with seven seals. The fact that the scroll is sealed indicates that it is complete. Yet it cannot be opened until all the seals are taken off. I think the scroll is the book of life, and we are told in chapters 6 and 7 what the seals are, which are taken off one by one. When the last one is removed, the contents of the scroll will be revealed at the second coming of Jesus.
The problem that the angel has identified concerns finding one able to open the scroll. The angel cannot do it, even although he is a strong creature. John thinks that no-one in the universe had the capability to open the book. In that book are the names of the church members in Ephesus, Smyrna and the other places. What is going to happen to them? And it caused him great sorrow.
But John is told that there is one person who can take hold of the scroll and bring about its details. That person is the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David. Calling him the Lion is the same as saying that he is the Messiah promised through the tribe of Judah, that he would be the descendant of royal David (Gen. 49:9). But he is also divine, for he is the Root of David, that is, he is the origins of David.
John’s eyes are directed towards the throne and there he does not see a Lion standing there, but a wounded Lamb. He sees Jesus, the one who suffered on the Cross when he paid the penalty for sin. The scars of Calvary are on his body as he stands before the throne of God.
Yet he is more than a wounded Lamb. He has seven horns and seven eyes. The number seven indicates perfection. A horn symbolised power; seven horns depicts all power. An eye depicted awareness and knowledge; seven eyes depict perfect knowledge. The power and knowledge that Jesus possesses are linked to the fact that he has sent the Holy Spirit into all the earth.
Here we have a wonderful picture of Jesus. He is the answer to the problem because he is the divine Messiah, the suffering Saviour, and the One who sends the Spirit to bring blessings to the world. Yes, he is worthy to open the scroll. So he proceeds to the throne and takes hold of the scroll. That was a great moment for the human race. The Son of God, now with a human nature, has universal power.