Friday, March 1, 2024

March The Lion and the Lamb

 We all know the old adage: “March—In like a lion, out like a lamb.”  Or, sometimes, vice versa.  And while the weather of March can make for some interesting conversations, I think the echoes of Biblical truth in the adage are far more significant.  


The weather adage is a way to emphasize the drastic change that March brings.  Winter to Spring; powerful to mild.  The lion and lamb metaphors in the Bible refer to the two natures of Christ that are both eternal and simultaneous.   He is the Lion of Judah.  The I AM.  He is also the Lamb of God, meek and lowly, sacrificed for the sins of the world.  He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  He was, is, and will always be both the Lion and the Lamb.


In our fallen world and in our minds, lions and lambs do not go together.  They are entirely incompatible.  Lions eat lambs.  Lambs are terrified of lions.  Christ as both Lion and Lamb is a sign to us that He has, inconceivably, done the impossible!  The Creator of the world is also its Redeemer.  The lion and lamb metaphor in the Bible enables us to imagine and visualize the miracle.  Before the fall, it is conceivable (depending upon your theology) that there were no predatory relationships among the newly-created animals.  But when Adam and Eve made their fateful choice, the entire creation fell with them.  God clothed them with the skins of animals who were sacrificed to provide Adam and Eve with material protection.  And all heaven wept.


The fall has generated a dog eat dog world of fear and shame.  Whatever your position on evolution, survival of the fittest has became all too commonplace in our world.  The strong use and abuse the weak for their own benefit.  The rich become richer while the poor become poorer.  Lions eat lambs.


But. God.  Jesus as Lion is not merely the King of the jungle; He is King of all creation, all the universe.  And as Lamb, He “emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant…. He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”  (Philippians 2:7-8).  Jesus as the perfect Lamb became the fulfillment of the Old Testament sacrificial system for sin, dying once and for all.


The weather is not the most remarkable feature of March.  We are in the season of Lent, preparing to commemorate the death of the Lamb of God and celebrate the resurrection of the Lion of Judah.  This is an ideal time to ponder with gratitude our Lord, the Lion and the Lamb.  It is also a good time to turn our face in the same direction, to use whatever power the Lion gives us to serve Him: “Go; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.”  (Luke 10:3).  As we do so, may we look for the day when lions and lambs will dwell in peace (Isaiah 65:25).