Jesus - A Lion And A Lamb

Frank Higginbotham

As John recorded the message of the book of Revelation, he made reference to Jesus as the lion of the tribe of Judah and then noted that He is also the lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Read carefully the following passage. "And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth" (Rev. 5:4-6). John is describing a sealed book and the fact that no man was worthy to open the seals. He is, however, encouraged not to weep because there is one who is worthy. He is the Lamb and the Lion. These descriptive terms can be applied only to Christ.

Have you ever wondered why two such different terms are used? A Lion gives us the picture of a fierce and extremely strong animal, while the lamb seems to depict gentleness and calmness. Both of these terms are depicted in the life of Jesus. You can see the characteristics of the Lamb as they are described by Isaiah, the great Messianic Prophet in Isaiah chapter fifty-three. "He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth" (Isa. 53:7). Think about the great control Jesus demonstrated in not answering the false charges that had been made before Pilate. He stood as a lamb who humbly endured the persecution of His enemies. "Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously" (1 Pet. 2:22-23).

Jesus also demonstrated the qualities of a lion. Matthew, chapter twenty-two, gives us the account of Jesus strongly standing up to the errors of His day. The Pharisees, along with the Herodians, approached Jesus with a question intended to trap Him. "Is it lawful to pay tribute to Caesar." Jesus told them that they owed things to Caesar and they owed things to God. This answer did not put Christ in the situation that the Herodians and Pharisees had expected. The Lion of Judah stood up and showed strength in answering the question of the Pharisees.

Next, the Sadducees decided to try to trap Jesus with a question concerning marriage. They used an extreme application of an instruction of Moses in regard to a married man who had no children. Seven different men had her as their wife and all died. Whose wife will she be in the resurrection? The hypocrisy of the question is seen in that the Sadducees did not even believe in the resurrection. Jesus very strongly pointed out their lack of knowledge of the Word of God and of conditions that will exist after the resurrection. They turned away in complete defeat.

One final attempt was made to defeat the Lion of Judah. A lawyer came to Christ and asked which of the commands of the Law was the greatest. Jesus replied that loving God is first and loving fellowman is second and all of the Law depends on these two commandments. He then strongly confronted them with a question concerning His divinity. "And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions" (Mt. 22:46).

Jesus was a Lamb in gentleness but a Lion in meeting the errors of His enemies. 205 Virginia Ave., Chester, WV 26034.


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