From the Pastor
As I write this, the snow is falling (and accumulating) outside. Can I just tell you that it is NOT snowing in North Carolina! Weather reports vary, saying we should expect 5-9 inches of snow. The children are out of school and church activities have been cancelled for today. As the calendar now says March, it seems it has come in like a roaring Lion. Does this mean it will go out like a Lamb, and just in time for Easter? I don’t know.
What I do know is that both the Lion and the Lamb are powerful biblical references to the person of Jesus Christ, and especially appropriate in this season of Lent. For example, Revelation 5:5-6 has a “Lion and the Lamb” passage. Jesus both is the conquering Lion from the tribe of Judah, and the Lamb who was slain. As the Lion of Judah, he is strong, powerful, fulfills prophecy, and is the Messiah who would come from the lineage of David. As the Lamb of God, he is the perfect and ultimate sacrifice for our sins.
The image of the Lion is meant to convey kingship. Jesus is the King over God’s people, who sits on the throne, and is the only one worthy to sit on the throne. As Handel’s Messiah goes, “And he shall reign forever and ever.”
Christ’s victory at the cross is symbolized by his appearance as a “Lamb standing, as though it had been slain” (Revelation 5:6). This hearkens back to the time of the exodus. Prior to the exodus from Egypt, the Israelities were commanded by God to take an unblemished lamb, slay it, and smear its blood on the doorposts of their homes. The blood of the slain lamb would set apart the people of Israel, and those who had the blood of the lamb would be spared. Jesus is the ultimate “Passover lamb” who saves His people from death. As it says in John 1:29, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
And so, when Jesus is referred to as the Lion and the Lamb, we are to see him as not only the conquering King who will defeat all his enemies, but also as the sacrificial Lamb who takes away the desire of sin from his people so that we may share in his ultimate victory.
See you Sunday,
Quote of the Week
"Remember that even Jesus' most scathing denunciation - a blistering diatribe against the religious leaders of Jerusalem in Matthew 23 - ends with Christ weeping over Jerusalem. Compassion colored everything He did.” John MacArthur
(John F. MacArthur is the pastor teacher of Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, California. He is one of the most popular Bible expositors and Bible conference speakers in the country, and serves as president of The Master’s College and Seminary.)