Revelation 5 is a picture illustration of the revealing of God’s plan. This is a symbolic representation – not literal – for Jesus is described as “the lion of the tribe of Judah” in verse 5 and a lamb in verse 8. He could not be literally both. A general summary of the chapter will answer the question.
God’s scroll or book was sealed with seven seals. The message on the scroll was meant to hidden. The scroll, representing the divine plan, was kept in God's own power until someone should be proved worthy to know it, and become its executor.
In the beginning of Revelation 5, there is a concern – who will open the book and loose the seals? The answer comes when Jesus is introduced as “the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David.” Until our Lord was slain, until he had given his life as man’s redemption price, there was no being in all the universe worthy to be the executor of the divine purpose. The heavenly host who were concerned before now rejoice. “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou was slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation” (verse 9) This was a further revealment of God’s plan. Jesus’s death as man’s ransom was a revealment of God’s love for mankind.
In verses 11 and 12, angels join in the refrain, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain.” Eventually God’s plan will be comprehended and be a blessing to all. “‘Every creature which is in heaven and on the earth…I heard saying, Blessing and honor and glory and power be unto him that sits upon the throne and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.’” (verse 13)
In harmony with this the Apostle Paul states in Philippians 2:9-11, “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth [those in the grave sleeping in death awaiting the resurrection]; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
All things in heaven and in earth will confess this truth. When that occurs, the wisdom, justice, love, and power of God’s plan will be manifested. It is then that God will be revealed. He will be reverenced, obeyed, and loved by all.
We offer a more in-depth study of God's plan in the booklet, God's Grand Plan of the Ages. It covers subjects such as "Why God Permits Evil," Epochs of Time in God's Plan," "God's Judgment Day," and "Ransom, Restitution and Resurrection".
Download the free PDF: "God's Grand Plan of the Ages"