The Helpless and the Powerful
A Lion. A Lamb. Strong, fierce, bold. Meek, gentle, sacrificial.
The lion and the lamb have long been paired in literature and history.
The juxtaposition of the powerful majesty of the King of Beasts and the gentle helplessness of the lamb create a longing, an almost mythical dream and hope for the two to live in harmony, and in so doing, bring peace to the world.
But what do they represent?
I think of Aslan of Narnia, the MGM movie lion, or the constellation Leo the Lion. But most of all, I envision the great Lion of God, the Lion of Judah, the Savior of the world, Jesus the Messiah. I love the Lion who graces the flag of Jerusalem.
But before we can know Jesus as a Lion, we need to know Him as the Lamb.
As we move into the holiday season, think of the Lamb, born a gentle, helpless baby in Bethlehem, greeted by shepherds and angels. Thirty years later John the Baptist declared, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
Jesus came the first time as the Lamb of God.
He was falsely accused, “treated harshly…like a lamb led to the slaughtering block, like a sheep silent before her shearers, He did not even open his mouth” (Isaiah 53:7). He was led to the Cross, pierced and slain, His blood poured out for the sins of the world.
The Lamb of God fulfilled His mission.
Now the story of healing, redemption, and reconciliation with God is revealed to the world.
The Lamb will return as a Lion!
The Lamb came to be sacrificed for our sins. But the Lion brings divine judgment (Revelation 9:8). The Lion is bold and powerful, and ready to right the wrongs of the world.
We are meant to live as children of the Lamb and the Lion!
The early apostles were new to all of this, untrained and under constant threat. But look at what happened after they spoke to a gathering of priests, rulers, elders, and scribes: “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13).
As they faced opposition, they learned that their strength would always come from “being with Jesus.”
We will be discouraged. We will sometimes face threats and fear. The enemy wants to silence us, intimidate us, even scare us.
But Jesus showed the way. A sacrificial Lamb and a triumphant Lion.
God has orchestrated a wonderful plan for His beloved Creation. He has told a story of sacrifice and forgiveness, of right overcoming wrong, of love triumphing.
We can lay down our lives like the Lamb. And we can walk in the victory and power of the Lion.