Friday, December 14, 2012

The Lion and the Lamb

One Year Bible
New Tetament passage for Friday, December 14, 2012: Revelation 5:1-14

But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.”  And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain,  Revelation 5:5-6 (NKJV)

It is a devastating thing when a person's hopes and dreams die. They thought they were on the right track, but found that they were at a dead end.  Their expectations were met with disappointment. Betrayal and treachery can turn what was one day a beautiful relationship into a nightmare.

This can happen in a marriage, in a family, in a church, in a business relationship. When we put strong trust in someone, it can be devastating when things go bad. The great hopes, vision, and joy that characterized the beginning is turned into bitterness, cynicism, or sorrow as we face the new reality.

Disappointment is common in our world today. John the Revelator experienced it. A strong angel proclaimed with a loud voice, "Who is worthy?"  In answer, no one was found among men who was able to measure up - to walk the walk - to hold true to the vision.  In deep disappointment, John wept.

Anyone who has traveled down the "Gospel Road" has experienced the pain of disappointment and betrayal. If it happened to Jesus, why are we so shocked that people would fail us, too?  The answer is not the AVOIDANCE of disappointment but the LESSONS God is teaching us.

In the midst of John's pain, one of those standing by said, "Look at the Lion - the Lion of the tribe of Judah."  In essence, he tells John that he is looking at the wrong thing. "Stop looking at man's failures and start looking at Jesus - the triumphant Jesus - the Jesus that is the same yesterday, today, and forever."

Amazingly, when John turns to look at this powerful Jesus, he sees a Lamb - a wounded Lamb. This is Jesus way of telling us that strength grows out of wounding. The sacrificed Lamb is also the powerful Lion. We grow stronger through the pain of disappointment and betrayal.

So, don't grow bitter or cynical. Don't give up on people or the church. Don't withdraw into a protective shell. The Lion and the Lamb are not only pictures of your Lord, they are patterns for your life.

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