Yesterday, I posted an article about businesses that use animals as an icon or mascot for their business. These businesses use these animals so that the public thinks of their companies when these animals are viewed. In this article, I want to look at animal images used in communicating certain aspects of the person of Jesus.
The Bible speaks of Jesus as “the lion of the tribe of Judah.” Judah was the tribe of Israel from which the king would come. In modern times we often refer to the lion as “the king of the jungle.” Jesus is The King of Kings. All other kings pale in comparison to the one who reigns from on high.
We should think of Jesus as king when we reflect on this imagery. One of my favorite examples of this is from The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. In these children’s books (great for adults as well), Lewis gives us Aslan the Lion as the king who gives life and rules justly.
In one particular episode, Lucy (the youngest child in the stories) encounters Aslan anew. At some point in the past, she had fallen in love with this fierce but gentle king. In her later encounter, she marvels at how much larger Aslan is than when she first met him. Aslan responds that it is not his size that has changed, but her awareness of him has grown.
May King Jesus grow in our awareness of him. May we see him larger everyday.
The other dominant animal image used of Jesus in the Bible is that of a lamb. As John the Baptist was preaching, Jesus approached. Pointing to Jesus, John cried, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.”
In my Bible readings, I have been reading in Leviticus. A lamb was sacrificed for the sins of the people in the Old Testament sacrificial system. The lamb which was offered was to be without spot or blemish. We know that Jesus as the lamb of God was sacrificed once and for all for our sin. He was without spot or blemish. He was the perfect sacrifice. Because of his death, we guilty, sinful men may find favor with God.
Are we living in the awareness of our sinfulness that made necessary a sacrifice? Are we relishing Jesus as the Lamb of God who takes away our sin?
Jesus is the lamb which takes away our sins. He is the lion who rules and reigns as our king. Both king and sacrifice. What a wondrous Savior.
My strong admonition to you: 1) Look to Jesus for your sin’s remedy, and 2) be subject to the king. In these you will find life.