We are at the start of a new decade (2020 – 2029) and I speak prophetically when I say it will be the decade where Nigeria will witness an unprecedented outpouring of the Holy Spirit in God’s great visitation (a revival). To prepare for this, the Lordship of Jesus in our lives has to be restored and to achieve this we need to understand what it means for Jesus to be the Lamb of God and the Lion of the tribe of Judah.
Before we go on, it must be stated that God was very deliberate in choosing the animals – lamb and lion, as symbolic representations of His Son, so do note the qualities of these animals.
Jesus, the Lamb of God (Saviour)
“Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)
Core qualities of a lamb: Meek, gentle, quite white, dependent and submissive.
Jesus’ walk and work on earth properly illustrated these qualities. We too are called to live out these qualities as stated in Philippians 2:5-8, “You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.”
Why the Lamb?
The lamb holds a lot of significance in the bible. Firstly, it was the first sacrifice made by man and it pleased God (Abel in Genesis 4:4). Secondly, it was a lamb Abraham said God will provide as sacrifice for Himself and what Abraham meant was Isaac was the lamb (Gen 22:7-8). Thirdly, the lamb was the main sacrificial animal used to institute the Passover (Exodus 12:1-7). Symbolically, Jesus was crucified on the same day the Passover lamb was killed in readiness for the Passover (John 19:31). He was the Passover Lamb sent from heaven. Fourthly, Jesus called us His lambs (John 21:15).
Why must the Lamb be worshipped?
– He is God’s beloved Lamb, not man’s, sent from heaven. He is God’s precious Lamb like that of the lamb in the story Nathan the prophet told David to illustrate his sin against God and man. The story is found in 2 Samuel 12:1-4.
– A lamb is said to be quite white (symbol of cleanliness and purity) and Jesus was the perfect Lamb because He was perfectly pure, stainless and without a single sin before the Father. Absolutely no dot of defect.
– He is the perfect Lamb accepted by God for a once-and-for-all sacrifice, giving us free access to the Father. The Lamb who is Saviour (the Passover Lamb). (1 Corinthians 5:7; 1 Peter 1:18-19)
– This Lamb overcomes. (Rev 17:14)
– This Lamb holds the book which contains names of those to spend eternity with Him. (Rev. 21:27)
– This Lamb is worthy. (Rev 5:12)
Jesus the Lion (the King/Lord/Master)
“But one of the twenty-four elders said to me, “Stop weeping! Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the heir to David’s throne, has won the victory. He is worthy to open the scroll and its seven seals.” (Revelation 5:5)
Qualities of a lion: Strong, fearless, ferocious, bold, frightening, powerful, majestic and kingly (royal).
While Jesus exemplified some of these qualities while on earth, the revelation of the Lion/King/Lord/Master was given to believers after His ascension because He came to become the sacrificial Lamb. He will return as the Lion of Judah displaying all these qualities, and more, before the whole world.
Why the lion?
Proverbs 30:30 says, “the lion, king of animals, who won’t turn aside for anything.” A lion is a king who rules over all. In Genesis 49:9-10, Jacob was speaking into the future of his children and to Judah he said, “Judah, my son, is a young lion that has finished eating its prey. Like a lion he crouches and lies down; like a lioness—who dares to rouse him? The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from his descendants, until the coming of the one to whom it belongs, the one whom all nations will honor.”
Jacob called Judah a lion because he saw that kings and a KING will come from his descendents. King David was the best expression of the first part of that prophesy but the second part is fulfilled in our Lord Jesus (“the one to whom it belongs, the one whom all nations will honour”). One day, all people and nations will honour Him as King of kings and Lord of lords.
Why must the Lion be worshipped?
– He is King of kings and Lord of lords. (Rev 19:16)
– He is the root (origin) of David and the Lion of the tribe of Judah (the ultimate KING). (Rev 5:5)
– The government of the world is upon His shoulder and He governs over all. (Is 9:6)
– Everything is under His feet. (Heb 2:8)
– He is the KING of the kingdom we have been bought into. (Col 1:13; 1 Cor 6:19)
– He is our Master and we are His bondservants/slaves. (Phil 1:1)
– Worship is constant before His throne. (Rev 4:1-11, Rev 7:11-12)
The people of Israel were expecting a king to come deliver them from Roman oppression (their agenda) when Jesus started His earthly ministry. The miracles He performed made the people (including His disciples) believe He was the promised KING. God had a bigger plan than to have someone rule for a season. He sent us a Lamb to deliver us from sin and death so that we can come into the everlasting kingdom where Jesus is a King who reigns forever.
He has been revealed to us as Lamb (Saviour)and as Lion (King) and to us who have received the free gift of salvation and have His Spirit live in us, we are to worship (adore, submit and surrender to) Him as Saviour and as King. We live for Him and His kingdom agenda, not ours and this we will do forever and ever.