THE LION AND THE LAMB
Rev. 5:6-8 ¶ And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth. And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
John saw an incredible, seemingly, contradictory vision of Jesus Christ. He saw Him as a lion and also as a lamb. No two creatures could be more different. Each of these animals portray some of the beautiful aspects of the character and person of Jesus Christ. The lion proclaims the power and majesty seen in Christ as the Son of God. The lamb gives us a hint at the incomparable humility and graciousness found in Jesus as the Son of Man. To understand Him, you must see Him in both natures. He is truly the Son of God and also the son of Adam. What an astounding truth. Jonathan Edwards preached one of his greatest messages on this passage. Enjoy this small excerpt from his sermon “The Excellency of Christ”.
“Christ is the Creator and great Possessor of heaven and earth. He is sovereign Lord of all. He rules over the whole universe, and doth whatsoever pleaseth him. His knowledge is without bound. His wisdom is perfect, and what none can circumvent. His power is infinite, and none can resist Him. His riches are immense and inexhaustible. His majesty is infinitely awful. And yet he is one of infinite condescension. None are so low or inferior, but Christ’s condescension is sufficient to take a gracious notice of them. He condescends not only to the angels, humbling himself to behold the things that are done in heaven, but he also condescends to such poor creatures as men; and that not only so as to take notice of princes and great men, but of those that are of meanest rank and degree, “the poor of the world,” James 2:5. Such as are commonly despised by their fellow creatures, Christ does not despise. I Cor. 1:28 ‘Base things of the world, and things that are despised, hath God chosen’. Christ condescends to take notice of beggars Luke 16:22 and people of the most despised nations.”
This is what Paul called the mystery of godliness. The Son of God took on human flesh, He actually became a human for all time. In this person is this seemingly, contradictory nature; power and resignation, sovereignty and total dependence, glory and humility, justice and mercy. What an incredible Savior, what an incredible God! Today, the Holy Spirit can give us the same revelation that John had in Revelation 5. He was weeping in utter despair at the hopeless condition of mankind, until…. When he saw the Lion of the tribe of Judah and he saw the Lamb of God, his sorrow was turned into awe. He joined the rest of heaven worshipping before the throne.