11 Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands,
12 saying with a loud voice,
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honor and glory and blessing!”
The slain Lamb receives adulation… even more than what’s mentioned as being ascribed to the Father at the end of chapter 4. At the end of chapter 4, to the Father is ascribed glory, honor, and power because of his creating and sustaining power. Now, in 5:12 to the Lamb is ascribed power, wealth, wisdom, might, honor, glory, blessing. Why? Because he was slain. Then, in 5:13 to both the Father and the Son are ascribed blessing, honor, glory, and might. So the Father is praised for his creating and sustaining power, and the Son is praised for his sacrifice and what it means for the Church… justification, sanctification, glorification.
What are the collected creatures in heaven and earth doing? They’re ascribing these things to the Son. Ascription, according to Piper from a sermon on Jude 24-25, is acknowledging what is perceived as already being there. So, it’s not as though the creatures give might to the Father and the Son in speaking this way… instead, they recognize the fact that these things are true of the Father and the Son and publicly declare it. The whole of creation is saturated with the realization and praise of God.
This whole section is shot through with connections inside and outside of Revelation. Just consider a couple sets of attributes listed here:
Wisdom and might… tied in with Daniel 2:20. There, Daniel ascribes wisdom and might to God on account of the interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. That dream also has to do with future kingdoms and God’s unveiling of his purposes. Here, the wisdom is probably the same. The wise rule and action at the end of the age. He’s not just worthy to open the scroll, but he also has wisdom and might to execute the plans God has for the end. Daniel was granted the ability to see the future; Jesus is the one who brings the future to pass. Daniel ascribes to God these things, and Jesus is the one who gets these things ascribed to him. He has wisdom and power to carry this out, to reveal God’s final plans.
Takeaway: Jesus is the one who ends history as we know it. We worship the One who will bring all God’s promises to pass in real history.
Honor and glory… ascribed to the Father and the Son. The weightiness, greatness, that’s ascribed to God. To them belongs all the glory… here specifically to the Lamb. Glory and honor is the Lamb’s, like the Father’s. There is no greater sign that Jesus is God. Glory is his too, honor his, no less so than the Father. 21:26 has the nations bringing their honor and glory to Yahweh in the New Jerusalem; it already was his, but the fact that creation is ascribing it is proper given Jesus’ stature as equal with God the Father.
Takeaway: Jesus is so close to the Father that, although they are not the same, he receives equal worship with the Father.