Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah… has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals (Revelation 5:5, NKJV).
One of the most striking of the messianic titles is that of the “Lion of Judah.” This description of Jesus is rooted in Genesis 49:8-10. In this portrait are embodied the qualities of dignity and strength, majesty and sovereignty, wisdom and prowess, courage and conquest. The lion is regarded as the uncontested ruler of the animal domain. As the Lion of Judah, Jesus Christ is the sovereign administrator of the universe.
John’s portrait depicts Christ as the Lion of Judah who has prevailed over the forces of evil. Having prevailed, Christ has become the only person in all the universe with the inherent right to open the scrolls (see Revelation 5:7). No one else is competent to do so. “The Lion of the tribe of Judah… has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll” (Revelation 5:5, NIV). This is good news for the human race. “The Lion of Judah… has triumphed” because He is able. This gives a ring of certainty to the outcome of the plan of salvation. In His unique role as Lion of Judah, Christ is able to champion the cause of His people, vindicate the character of God, guarantee the salvation of all who accept Him, and finally restore forever the lost dominion.
Because Jesus is able, the outcome of God’s redemption strategy is already settled. The apostolic message is unambiguous: “The Lion of the tribe of Judah… has prevailed” (Revelation 5:5, NKJV). The victory is won forever. But there is still more good news. Not only has Christ conclusively won the victory over sin and death, He also “gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57, NKJV). Ellen G. White confirms this fact: “As the Lion of Judah, Christ will defend His chosen ones and bring them off victorious.”–The Home Missionary, November 1, 1893.