Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
The Lion and the Lamb
Revelation 5: 1-6
“Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders”. Rev. 5.:6
As we read this chapter carefully, verses 5 and 6 capture our attention rather quickly, because of the combination two metaphors, which is very unusual in writing. Jesus is described as both Lion and Lamb. Unlike Lion, the familiar reference of Lamb is found throughout the Bible. Reference to Lion is found in Genesis 49, where Jacob says his son Judah is a lion-cub; returns from the prey; sits down at the right hand of God?” Evidently, the elder who came to John’s aid refers to this Lion. John turned and saw the Lamb instead of Lion on the throne. Is the Lamb really the Lion?
Lamb represents love, obedience, …….. and purity; worthy of sin offering, and we can easily relate this to Jesus. However, when we think of Jesus as a Lion, perhaps an image of His second coming comes to our mind. So the question is – had Jesus ever revealed lion’s characters? Was He the Lion in the visage of the Lamb? Was He both the Lion and the Lamb? It is paradoxical, but the greatest err with a deadly consequence is accepting part of the truth and ignore the rest. We always like to experience the qualities of the Lamb in God, and confine God within the walls of what we like to experience. One thing we should remember is that our likes and dislikes would not change God’s attributes.
In Gethsemane, Jesus prayed three times for the removal of the cup filled with deceit, betrayal ………… rejection by man and God, being nailed to the cross, and being made sin. We see the frailty of a lamb, the humanity of Jesus, which in fact uncovered OUR utter helplessness in adversities. How did heaven answer? All we read is that an angel came and strengthened Him, but how do we translate it? Since the Father is about to turn His face, we cannot interpret this with our usual consolatory phrase “don’t worry I am here for you.” But I think heaven reminded Him “You are the Lion of Judah, Root of David; You have an enemy to destroy and a Kingdom to take back.” Afterwards, it was the Lion who returned to the sleeping disciples roaring “Enough!” (Mk14v41) of the slumber; and “Rise!”(Mk14v42) “ Let us go.” When a lion preys, nothing will come between the prey and the predator; neither the sleeping disciples nor the cross! He was a Lamb to accept the Father’s will; He was also a Lion to face the ferocity of the cross. He is the Lion and the Lamb. Through John’s revelation, God also gives us a glimpse of New Jerusalem, where Lion and the Lamb cohabit; peace and harmony reign. But the biggest question is this – who will we face in the judgment day, the Lion or the Lamb?
Lord of creation, Alpha and Omega, Beginning and End, help us to know you more and more as You consummate our salvation. Amen.
Saju Alex, St Thomas MTC, NY