The Lion & The Lamb

Posted: July 8, 2014 in Uncategorized

lionThis summer we have been going through a sermon series on finding balance. For example, we began by looking at what it means to be in the world but not of the world. We have also considered the relationship between law and gospel. And recently we thought about how our belief in the Trinity should affect our worship and prayer life.

This past Sunday we turned our attention to the opening chapter of the Gospel of John in an effort to reflect on the fact the Jesus is fully God and fully man. That, as John puts it, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14 ESV) Christ humbled Himself and took on flesh and walked this earth to give His life as a ransom for many. He knows what it is like to experience temptation and loneliness and grief.

Well this morning I read a devotional that really dug down deeper into the mystery of the incarnation and reflected on this idea of Christ being both a lion and a lamb. In his book, Seeing and Savouring Jesus Christ, John Piper writes…

A lion is admirable for its ferocious strength and imperial appearance. A lamb is admirable for its meekness and servant-like provision of wool for our clothing. But even more admirable is a lion-like lamb and a lamb-like lion. What makes Christ glorious, as Jonathan Edwards observed over 250 years ago, is “an admirable conjunction of diverse excellencies.” For example, we admire Christ for his transcendence, but even more because the transcendence of his greatness is mixed with submission to God. We marvel at him because his uncompromising justice is tempered with mercy. His majesty is sweetened by meekness. In his equality with God he has a deep reverence for God. Though he is worthy of all good, he was patient to suffer evil. His sovereign dominion over the world was clothed with a spirit of obedience and submission. He baffled the proud scribes with his wisdom, but was simple enough to be loved by children. He could still the storm with a word, but would not strike the Samaritans with lightning or take himself down from the cross.

The glory of Christ is not a simple thing. It is a coming together in one person of extremely diverse qualities. We see it in the New Testament book of Revelation: “The Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals” (5:5). Here is the triumphant lion-like Christ ready to unroll the scroll of history. But what do we see in the next verse? “And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth” (verse 6). So the Lion is a Lamb—an animal that is weak and harmless and lowly and easily preyed upon, and sheared naked for clothes, and killed for our food. So Christ is a lamb-like Lion.

The Lion of Judah conquered because he was willing to act the part of a lamb. He came into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday like a king on the way to a throne, and he went out of Jerusalem on Good Friday like a lamb on the way to the slaughter. He drove out the robbers from the Temple like a lion devouring its prey. And then at the end of the week he gave his majestic neck to the knife, and they slaughtered the Lion of Judah like a sacrificial lamb.

The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” – John 1:35-36 (ESV)

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s