Portraits of Christ
The LION / The LAMB
E. J. Davis
I am still enjoying the different Portraits of Christ. We read of two that are right together (Rev. 5:5-6), Christ as The Lion and Christ as The Lamb. Chapters 4 & 5 are wonderful scenes of heaven that are yet to come to pass. Christ is seen taking His throne in chapter 4, and the overcomers are there when it takes place. They worship Christ as the Creator, the eternal God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (Jn. 1:1-3). Because of His condescension He will always be man (the God man). Phil. 2:6-8, “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”
John is still viewing the throne room of heaven in chapter 5. Christ seated on the throne has a book in His right hand, (a scroll in the Greek). It is written on both sidles, yet sealed with seven seals. For the contents to be known, somebody has to be worthy to loose the seals and open it (V. 2). We learn the contents of the scroll in chapter. 6, and that it contains God’s judgments that He will pour out on this world and upon the ungodly who have refused God’s grace of salvation. But at this point in the vision, the contents of the scroll is a mystery.
No man was to be found that was worthy to loosen the seals of the scroll nor even to look on it, not even one of the overcomers (V. 3). John knew it was an important book and no doubt thought the contents would never be known, causing him to weep (V. 4). One of the fully mature saints (an elder), one of the overcomers knew who was the worthy One. John is told not to weep for behold the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the root of David hath prevailed to open the book and loose the seals of it (V. 5).
The lion is the king of the beasts of the earth and depicts our Lord’s kingly authority. He was born of the kingly tribe of Juda when He became flesh, born of a woman. Though He was a son of David as a man, He was also the Root of David as the creator. The root comes before the tree. The next verse tells how He prevailed. The Greek has “overcame” for the word prevailed.
John looks to see the Lion and he beheld a Lamb (V. 6). The Greek text tells us that it is the smallest kind of Lamb, a Lambkin. It is not only small and weak, but even as it had been slain. Isa. 53:7, “He was oppressed, and … 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…” But He hath prevailed. The Lamb as it had been slain, STOOD. He overcame in weakness and won the victory conquering death and hell. He hath paid the redemption price for sin and is worthy to complete its accomplishment.
The Lamb had seven horns, speaking of complete and perfect power. This little Lambkin conquered Satan by His death. Heb. 2:14-15, Through death He destroyed him that had the power of death, that is the devil.” He defeated Satan with his own weapon (death), and delivered us from the fear of death and the spirit of bondage. Satan may have bruised His heel, but Christ bruised Satan’s head, fulfilling Gen. 3:15.
The Lamb also had seven eyes, which speaks of Him being fully equipped, having discernment through the power of the 7-fold Holy Spirit. Isa. 11:1-4 describes this Spirit filled Man. “… the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD:…with righteousness shall he judge…he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.”
Christ won the right or we could say, He purchased the authority to reign as King by the sacrifice of Himself for the sins of the world. First he was God’s Lamb (the cross) the Redeemer; then He will become The King (the crown). As the victorious Lamb, He is the worthy One to loose the sealed of judgments of God upon a Christ rejecting world. The intercessions and prayers of the overcomers are in agreement with Christ and His purposes and in His righteous judgment (Vs. 7-10).
The universal praise of Christ just swells and finally involves all creation; “Worthy is the Lamb” to rule (Vs. 11-14). By God grace I desire to be in the throne room of heaven as Christ takes His throne.