“Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” (Revelation 5:5)
“Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures, and the elders the voice of many angels…saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” (Revelation 5:11-12)
Kevin DeYoung comments, “Jesus is a stumbling block. Secularists and liberals might take him as if he were a Lamb. Muslims might love him if he were a Lion. But neither side will worship Jesus Christ as both.”
Who is Jesus? It is a question we often avoid; yet we claim that our faith is based on the answer. The question of Jesus’ identity poses the central tension in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Over and over, we see individuals, even his own disciples, stumbling over this very question.
So, who is Jesus?
He is a divine paradox: a Lion and a Lamb. Indeed, it was only by becoming a Lamb that the Lion could truly conquer. He came into Jerusalem as a Lion on Palm Sunday as a King traveling to his throne; yet, he left Jerusalem on Good Friday as a Lamb prepared for slaughter. He stormed the Temple as a Lion devouring wickedness as he drove out robbers; yet he submitted himself to gruesome wickedness as a Lamb to be slain. He was buried as a Lamb; He overcame death as a Lion.
As we celebrate his unfathomable strength, his indescribable might, and his unspeakable power, let us not forget of his cruel betrayal, his indescribable pain, and his unspeakable suffering. As we rejoice in Jesus as our gentle comforter and calm confidant, let us not forget that he is a Majestic Lord, a Righteous Judge, and is Christ the King.
We are vulnerable; so we need more than a Lion to understand our suffering. We are weak; so we need more than a Lamb to defend us. Our sin brought death of the Lamb. Our sin was overcome by resurrection of the Lion. Our worth was determined by the Lamb on the cross. Our worth lies in the strength of the Lion. Do not forget who your King is.
It is in his pain we find redemption. It is in his sacrifice we find grace. It is in his death we find life. His power is made perfect in weakness. That is my King. Do you know him?