What a great song to kick off Lent!
In case you are not familiar, Lent is a period in the Church calendar where we, as a people of God, cultivate our hearts to remember the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Lent always begins on Ash Wednesday, which this year also happens to be Valentine’s Day. Some faith traditions follow spiritual disciplines, such as fasting and prayer, but overall Lent is just a time to prepare, much like Advent is a season where we get ready to observe the birth of Jesus.
We will be talking about Lent all week long and lending some advice and practices that may help you in your walk with Jesus this season. We’ll begin with the following worship song, and what a great one it is!
The juxtaposition between a lion and lamb is a beautiful picture of Jesus and who He is. Of course, we derive these images and symbols from Scripture (John 1:29, Rev. 5:5-6), and this imagery provides a beautiful declaration to sing with profound impact on our walk with Christ.
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Aaron and I have noticed, in our various ministry positions, that people often hold conceptions of Jesus that are less lion-like, and instead more similar to a lamb: meek, weak, and maybe even “wimpy.” Why is that?
Of course, we believe that much of Jesus’ life can be viewed through the lens of the torture He endured on the Cross.
As a result, it is an inevitable conclusion, when only looking at Jesus’ suffering, to envision Jesus was weak, scared, and (most importantly) helpless as He died.
But, that’s really not the case. We want to direct your attention to a couple of Scriptures that show us a fuller picture of Jesus’ state at His death.
The Gospel of John 19:25-27 depicts Jesus, in the final moments of life, arranging for the care of his mother to the “disciple Jesus loved” (most commonly thought to be John himself). In the midst of his torment, Jesus hung from the cross making arrangements for Mary to have support after His death. The strength and self-control that He exhibits in this moment, to continue loving and caring until His final breath, was evident until the end.
In Luke 23:40-43, Jesus forgave one of the criminals that crucified alongside Him. Even while enduring unbearable agony, Jesus maintained both the compassion and strength to minister to this man, who was no doubt terrified and experiencing his own dark final moments.
Jesus was prepared to endure the Cross because He was equipped. While He was the sacrificial lamb in his sinless sacrifice, but also the lion who ferociously defeated death.
Returning to the lion and lamb juxtaposition, it is essential to understand that Jesus is both tender like a lamb and mighty and fierce like a lion. Understanding both sides of Jesus is crucial for your relationship with Him because if you only comprehend one side of Jesus, it skews your relationship with Him.
If you only know Jesus as a lamb, you may conclude subconsciously, that Jesus isn’t strong enough to handle your problems. Or if your understanding of Jesus and God as only as a fierce, strong lion, you may then only perceive Him as tough and perhaps lacking compassion and mercy, and maybe harsh and judgemental instead.
When we strive for a more holistic picture of Jesus, then we begin to see the reality.
He is both the Lion and the Lamb.
Since Lent officially starts Wednesday, this is an excellent time to explore your understanding of Jesus. Take some time right now and spend it with Jesus, seeking further understanding of who He is.
Thank you for your complexities. You are so round and full, I often forget how dynamic you are. Who You are really matters and I want to get to know You better for I can never know enough. My life is dramatically different because of You and I am ever so thankful. Could you please help me grow in a deeper understanding of You so that it can penetrate into our relationship, and from there, into the world. Thank you for being both the Lion and the Lamb, because I need both, and so does the world. Amen.
How do you see Jesus?
How do you think that impacts your relationship with Him?
How does seeing Jesus as a lamb benefit to your relationship with Him?
How does seeing Jesus as a lion benefit your relationship with Him?
Scripture For The Week
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Coming Up Next
See you Wednesday when we start up our 6 Week Lent Challenge. Go ahead and get your Challenge today – it’s free and will be a guide for you this Lent to grow closer to God!
For more on the topic of opening ourselves up to God this Lent, we invite you to our Facebook page where we will be posting quotes, Scripture, prayers, daily Challenges and more all this week. And I’m also on Instagram posting some quotes, Scripture and Daily Challenges. Won’t you join me?
If you want to receive a reminder of what’s coming up next, make sure you sign up for our email list! All week we will be following this topic and giving you exercises, ideas and sharing our thoughts and experience with the practice of Lent and opening ourselves up to the God in a different, intensified way. Make sure you sign up, we often give out a lot of awesome freebies!
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