About Jesus     Steve Sweetman

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Jesus - The Lion And The Lamb


In Revelation 4 the Apostle John is transported into Heaven. He must have been  terrified and overcome with awe and amazement as he saw the throne of God, a host of angels, beasts, elders, and the judgments that would come to the earth.


In Revelation 5 John  saw a very important scroll in Heaven that needed to be opened but no one was found that could open it.  John felt extremely perplexed, confused and full of sorrow about this and began to cry uncontrollably.  Seeing these tears, one of the 24 elders told him that there was someone in the universe that could unlock the seals that bound this scroll.  The elder proclaimed that the “Lion of the tribe of Judah ” had both the power and the authority to rip apart these seals, and furthermore, if John would just turn around, he’d see Him.


I can picture John attempting to wipe his tears as he turned around to see what he thought would be a mighty lion.  Still confused and dazed he turned and wondered where the lion was.  He only saw a lamb that looked liked  one of the slain sacrificial temple lambs.  He must have now felt even more confused and maybe thought that the elder had misspoken.  Then with great relief, understanding came to him.  God’s Lion is a Lamb, and not just any Lamb, but the Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world. 


In one dramatic moment John experienced the true nature of who Jesus is.  This is the Lamb of God who was John’s friend.  They lived, laughed and cried together for 3 short years.  John stood at the foot of the cross and watched Him die. Yet Jesus is more than the sacrificial Lamb.  He is also the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the only one in the universe who has both the power and authority to open the seven seals that would release final judgments on the earth. 


It is necessary that we understand what John understood in this vision.  The Biblical truth of Jesus is represented in the Lion and the Lamb.  Jesus is both the Lion who is authoritative and powerful, yet at the same time He is the sacrificial Lamb who gave His life for our salvation.  Jesus’ roll as Lord demonstrates the authoritative power of a Lion.  His roll as Christ demonstrates the atoning sacrifice of a Lamb. 


We cannot separate these two aspects of who Jesus is, and we cannot emphasize one over the other.  He is one hundred percent Lion and one hundred percent Lamb.  Some minimize Jesus as Lion by saying He wouldn’t bring judgment as seen in the book of Revelation.   Others preach fire and brimstone to such a degree that they overlook the love of the Lamb.  


Some day we’ll experience what John experience here in Revelation 5 when we meet Jesus face to face.  My guess is that at first glance we’ll be very frightened, so frightened that we’ll want to run as fast as we can from Him.  But there’s no place to run to.  As we take a second glance at Him we’ll simply fall on our faces in deep appreciation and humility, understanding completely that the Lion is reaching out His arms to us as a loving Lamb.       


There’s a powerful dichotomy here.  Jesus is fully Lion and He is fully Lamb.  For those who have accepted His grace, we’ll see the authority of the Lion and experience the love of the Lamb.  


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