When reading Scripture the other day, there were two parallel thoughts that leaped out of Amos and Revelation to capture my mind. The first is this: Jesus is the Lion.
The LORD roars from Zion
and thunders from Jerusalem;
the pastures of the shepherds dry up,
and the top of Carmel withers. (Amos 1:1)
The prophet Amos is not a tame man. He speaks cutting words that humiliate his hearers as unjust and unrighteous people. They should know better, he says, because God has spoken to them already through Moses. And so, because of their sin, God will come like a lion.
The lion has roared— who will not fear? The Sovereign LORD has spoken— who can but prophesy? (Amos 3:8)
Amos’ message is one just judgment upon the people of God.
As I read in the final book of the New Testament, I encountered the lion again. This time the scene is one of heavenly worship. There is a scroll in the hand of God with writing on both sides. It is sealed up and no one can open it. Heaven weeps because there is no one worthy of opening it.
But then, the Lion appears.
Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.” (Revelation 5:5)
The triumphant and powerful Lion of Judah is able. He has roared a triumph over all creation, and He stands victorious in heaven.
Jesus is that Lion. He is the victor.
As I think about Jesus the Lion, I am afraid. He is just. He is the judge. He is powerful. He has won the battle. I stand humbled and trembling before this powerful Jesus.
I remember the line from C. S. Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, where Mr. Beaver describes Aslan the lion to the children as both unsafe and good.
Safe? Who said anything about safe? ’Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the king, I tell you.
Jesus is anything but safe. But He is good. He is the King.