The Lion & The Lamb
“Then one of the elders said to me, do not weep! See, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Root of David has triumphed. He can open the scroll and its seven seals. The I saw a lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the centre of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures & the elders” - Revelations 5:5-6
Whilst Our Lord Jesus Christ is mostly described as the Lamb that was slain, He is also the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. The two animals used to describe him couldn’t be any more different. One is docile, unassuming and vulnerable while the other is a deadly & intelligent predator known as the king of the jungle. Whilst the Lamb always looks to be led and shepherd, the Lion leads in establishing new territories with great strength; and yet both these characteristics are embodied in Our Lord Jesus Christ, and if we are to be like him, we have to reflect both these opposite characteristics.
The vulnerability of the lamb to lay down its life to be persecuted and crucified lay side by side with the strength and power of God in the lion to overcome yet nonetheless none of the two traits is greater than the other in Christ. For Christ to open the gate of eternal life to all, He required both the vulnerability of the nature of the lamb to lay down his life as well as the strength of the lion to triumph over death.
Most people tend to identify with the Lion, often desiring to epitomise the strength and splendour of the lion as it rules over territories and feared by all while few desire the characteristics of the lamb that was slain in its entirety. Those who choose the nature of the lion tends to be known to be aggressive whilst those who lean on the traits of the lamb are often labeled weak; when in truth we are called to reflect both, because there is strength in been the lamb that was slain as it takes inner strength to submit to persecution and crucifixion as Jesus did and there is visible power in being a lion. I noticed in my journey that those who choose to only lean towards the strength of the lion could often become aggressive, lording it over others in the same manner as the king of the jungle itself. Whilst those who despite the aggressive nature of the lion only looks to be lead and shepherd and therefore can often be vulnerable prey to those who only epitomise the nature of the lion.
In my life, I realised that most people often see the nature of the lamb that was slain in me more than that of the lion, until of cause situation demands that they are confronted with the nature of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah that is present in me! For those who only see the nature of the lamb in me, many don’t realise that just as strong as the character of the Lamb is represented in me so also is the nature of the lion and therefore they are often shocked and confused on how to relate to me when they are confronted with the nature of the lion in me.
Knowing the strength of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah in me, I tend to walk like the lamb, which people seem to find more comfortable to relate to, while I ensure that the nature of the lion within me is not suppressed to please people. Some have wrongly labelled the nature of the lamb in me to that of the house cats. In my study of the life of Christ I learnt that throughout his time on Earth, we hardly saw the nature of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, but mostly the gentle Jesus meek and kind. The Jesus that was loving, unassuming and all encompassing. Therefore, could it be that we have to remind people that the fact that you see the nature of the Lamb does not in anyway suggest the characteristics of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah is not present?
Could it be that he intentionally allowed us to encounter the lamb in him whilst he walked the earth for a purpose which helps us in some ways to understand John's reaction in the passage of scripture above as he turned to look at Lion of the Tribe of Judah who would open the scroll he only saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain. John wouldn’t have been able to reconcile the two, but we are called to reconcile and embrace the two, not just in Our Lord Jesus Christ but also in ourselves.
So next time, you look to see the characteristics of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah in Christ or fellow Christians and only see the nature of the lamb that was slain, be encouraged as John was in the book of Revelations. Also be careful in your assumptions of people, I’ve known many who have confronted the character of Lamb in me, only to be met with the Lion of the Tribe of Judah in me; as well as be gentle with those who have only known the nature of the lamb in you and suddenly come into contact with the nature of the lion; give them time and space to adjust and embrace the truth that you reflect both the nature of Christ.