“Look! The LION of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed!
Then I saw a LAMB, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne!” Revelation 5:5-6
John was looking for a Lion–and he saw a Lamb. This is a strange, double picture of Jesus as He appears in Heaven.
He was a lion in His conflicts and victories, and as such overcame all His enemies and ours also.
But He was a lamb in the gentleness of His character and disposition.
The lamb is an emblem of meekness and of unresisting obedience and submission.
As we think about Christ, we soon see how true both of these pictures are.
Like a lion, He has power and majesty, and is dreadful to His enemies! As a lion He met and overcame Satan, and triumphed over death and the grave. As a lion He is able to defend us from all our enemies, and the feeblest believer is safe under His protection. He is the omnipotent God, and has all power in Heaven and on earth.
At the same time, the other picture is just as true.
He is like a little lamb in His gentleness. The whole spirit of His life on earth shows this. Never was a mother so gentle to her children, as was Jesus to the weary, troubled and penitent ones who came to Him. He was lamb-like, too, in the way He endured wrongs and sufferings. Other animals fight in their own defense, but the lamb does not resist. When Christ was reviled, He did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten in return. “Like a lamb led to the slaughter and like a sheep silent before her shearers, He did not open His mouth.”
He is the same Jesus now in the midst of the throne, and it is this astonishing combination of strength and gentleness which makes Him such a wondrous Savior! In Him, we have the union of all the truest qualities of love that our hearts so hunger for: tenderness, affection, patience, sympathy. Then, when we have laid ourselves down to rest in all this blessed warmth of love, we look up and see that we are in the bosom of Omnipotence! Mere gentleness may be very weak–but while He is a lamb, He is also a lion!
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