The Lion and the Lamb!
Tomorrow is March 1st. And, of course, we always think about the annual question of whether March will come in like a lamb and go out like a lion – or visa versa. Based on the incredible weather this morning, I was worried that we were looking at the lion scenario. It was raining heavily and even Hank, our dog, wouldn’t go out. Then, as the day wore on, we saw temperatures climb into the 60’s and people were out taking walks, driving their convertibles and playing tennis across the street from our home.
So, during this last day of February, 2021, we have experienced both the lion and the lamb – and we haven’t even officially started March yet! The good news is that no matter what happens with the lion, we always end up with the lamb. And that is, in fact, the way it looks like March will officially start.
The truth of the matter is that Jesus is both the lion and the lamb. He is often referred to the Lion of Judah, a reference to His ancestral human lineage. Jesus descended from Judah, one of the 12 tribes of Israel, descended from and named after Judah, who was the fourth son born to Jacob and his first wife, Leah. Eventually, the lineage goes through David and, after many other generations, winds up with Mary, the mother of Jesus, who was married to Joseph. The genealogies of Joseph and Mary can be found in the first chapter of Matthew and the third chapter of Luke in the New Testament.
As far as the other side of the coin, the lamb, there are many references to Jesus being “the lamb of God.” The apostle John, in particular, mentions the lamb of God in several places and there are other books, including Revelation, that make references to Jesus as the “lamb of God.” Even John the Baptist, a cousin of Jesus, announces Jesus as the “lamb of God” who “takes away the sins of the world.”
One of the most interesting parts of the whole Bible is the fact that we are told in the book of Revelation that in the end times, theologically referred to as eschatology, the lion will lay down with the lamb… This is commonly referred to as a time when actual animals will live in concert with one another and will also usher in a time of peace. Interestingly, theologians also look at this as a descriptor of paradise. And isn’t it something that Jesus is referred to as both the lion and the lamb?
Our verse for tonight comes from the Old Testament prophet, Isaiah, the one who predicted so much about the life and times of Jesus. In fact, during Advent services each December, Isaiah is often times quoted in prophesying about the coming of Jesus. Isaiah, tells us, thousands of years before the time of Jesus, and well in advance of the endtimes depicted in Revelation, in Isaiah 11:6, “The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.” Of course, that little child is Jesus.
My encouragement this evening is that the Lion of Judah, the Lamb of God, God in human form, came into this world to save it. My prayer is that as we approach March 1st, we may be reminded of the lion and the lamb; and that this prophecy from Isaiah will signal a time of eternal peace – even paradise. In fact, each day of March, and every other day throughout the year, we have Jesus, who is both the lion and the lamb. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…