day 17: Christ, the Lion of Judah

Readings: Genesis 49:8-12, Isaiah 31:4-6, Revelation 5


lion of judah.jpg

I love the paradoxes of Scripture, and the way my God doesn't fit in any box or category I might try to fit Him in. In yesterday's devotional, Christ was the small and fragile Lamb of God, the "little lamb who was slain" - and in today's, He is the Lion of Judah, a title which has its roots in Jacob's blessings in Genesis 49 and gives us a rich Biblical image of the mightiest royal King.

"Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals."
And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain.
Revelation 5:5b-6a

This is our God, our Christ: simultaneously the gentlest little Lamb, silent before His slaughterers, and the fiercest mighty Lion, striking terror in all who encounter His presence.

"The Lion has overcome" - by becoming the Lamb who was slain.

If you meet a lion in your path, you don't run - he is faster. You don't threaten him with your size - he is bigger. You don't defend yourself with a weapon - he is stronger. The truest fear knows that running is useless and the only hope is to trust in the beast's mercy.

And with the Christ, the Lion of Judah, the incredible result of such trust is that He becomes to us the gentle Lamb, merciful and humble and approachable, standing in between us and that glorious throne - even as He remains as our majestic King and sovereign Conqueror, our Lion of Judah, the One who has overcome.

Hallie Liening

Olympia, WA

Hallie grew up on a small farm in rural eastern Washington. At 18, she moved across the country to go to Bible school, and then married the Boy Next Door at 20. Now 22, she is a graduate of Great Commission Bible Institute with a Certificate in Biblical Studies and resides in Olympia with her husband and her two cats. She survives the claustrophobia of living near the city by making frequent trips back home to visit her family and her horse, writing sentimental blog posts about the countryside, and by filling her house with photographs of Mt. Adams sunsets.