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Jesus is sometimes referred to as “The Lion and The Lamb” (Revelation 5:5-6). This is because Jesus’ character exemplifies some of the attributes of both a lamb and a lion.
Jesus as the Lamb:
“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)
“…Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.” (1 Corinthians 5:7)
“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” (1 Peter 1:18-19)
God required the Jews to sacrifice a lamb on the feast of Passover (Exodus 12). On the first Passover, the blood of the slaughtered lamb was applied to the doorframe of the house so that the destroying angel, sent by God to kill the firstborn in Egypt, would “pass over” the occupants in that house, sparing their lives. God instituted the yearly Passover feast to ultimately point the way to Christ, the perfect and final Passover Lamb who was sacrificed for the sins of the world (Hebrews 9:22-10:18).
The Jews also regularly sacrificed lambs as sin offerings in order to make atonement for the sins they committed (Leviticus 5:5-6). This, too, was to point the way to Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
Jesus took the punishment for our sins when he died on the cross. In doing so, he became a sin offering for us (Romans 8:3-4, 2 Corinthians 5:21). When we confess our sins and put faith in him, that his shed blood has atoned for our sins, he redeems us and ransoms from death and hell. Through faith in Jesus, we are “saved” from our sins and their consequences. “God presented him [Christ] as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood” (Romans 3:25). (See “Message“).
Lastly, in the Biblical book of Revelation, the prophecy about the End Times, Jesus is portrayed as “the Lamb who was slain”, and he is referred to and worshiped as “the Lamb”.
“Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne…the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb…they sang a new song: ‘You are worthy…because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation…Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!’ Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power for ever and ever!’” (from Revelation 5)
Jesus as the Lion:
“You are a lion’s cub, O Judah; you return from the prey, my son. 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 between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his.” (Genesis 49:9-10)
“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)
Judah’s greatest descendant is Jesus Christ, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 19:16). The lion symbolizes Jesus’ kingship, power, strength, victory and sovereignty.
The Holy Spirit as a Dove:
“As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’” (Matthew 3:16-17)
I included a dove in this drawing, symbolizing the Holy Spirit. He is featured underneath Jesus (as the Lion and the Lamb) because he brings glory to Jesus and reminds his children on earth of Jesus’ words.
Jesus said, “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you” (John 16:13-15).
These Lion of Judah drawings were featured on the covers of Geoff Waugh’s Lion of Judah series of books. The books describe the titles, reign, life, death, resurrection and Spirit of Jesus. Please see The Renewal Journal website for more information on the books.