The Lion and the Lamb

Revelation 5:5-6 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

On Easter Sunday, I shall do my very best, in God’s power, to do justice to the metaphoric presentation of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, as the Lamb slain and the Lion of Judah in Revelation 5. Jonathan Edwards calls this a diverse congruence of excellencies. In the animal kingdom, most would agree that the lamb and lion are as diverse as it gets, yet in our text they are congruent or presented in agreement as descriptions of Jesus. And they are excellent. When we see the lamb, we think of tenderness, gentleness, meekness and humility. Pam would say, “it just makes you want to squeeze it!” Jesus Christ is the Lamb without spot or blemish which was slain so that I, and all those who continue in the faith, might not have to experience the wrath of God. Yet the lion is just as excellent—the majesty and power of the lion is impressive. The lion is the King! The lion commands our attention, he rules and reigns. The lion is the Sovereign who rules in the kingdom of men.

Listen to what Edwards said concerning Christ on the cross: “Christ appeared at the same time, and in the same act, as both a lion and lamb. He appeared as a lamb in the hands of his cruel enemies; as a lamb in the paws, and between the devouring jaws, of a roaring lion; yes, he was a lamb actually slain by this lion: yet at the same time, as the Lion of the tribe of Judah, he conquers and triumphs over Satan; destroying his own destroyer; as Samson did the lion that roared upon him, when he rent him as he would a kid. And in nothing has Christ appeared so much as a lion, in glorious strength destroying his enemies, as when he was brought as a lamb to the slaughter. In his greatest weakness he was strong; and when he suffered most from his enemies, he brought the greatest confusion on his enemies.”

Did you get that? When it appeared the roaring lion was going to have the victory—Christ the Lion of Judah rose from the grave as the victor! Up from the grave He arose, With a mighty triumph o’er His foes, He arose a Victor from the dark domain, And He lives forever, with His saints to reign. He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose! (Robert Lowery).

What appeared impossible to man, surely the Messiah was dead, all was lost, in fear the disciples abandoned their Lord (all had forgotten the promise of the resurrection) was easy for God. What then shall we say? And how shall we respond? Let us, the redeemed, bow the knee and cry “You and You alone are worthy!” And in doing so, God the Father and God the Spirit are most glorified when God the Son is exalted.

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