Recently as we were snuggled on a couch watching a movie, my husband, Steve, told me about a friend who had a mountain lion come up on his deck. I've got to be honest; that would freak me out!
Steve, however, a lover of wildlife encounters, thought it was pretty wonderful. That conversation got me thinking about Jesus as the Lion of Judah.
When we think of Jesus, we often think of Him as a Lamb: meek and mild. Certainly, He was the Lamb who was slain. But the apostle John wrote, "Then one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep. Look! The Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals" (Rev. 5:5). As I have been mulling that over in my mind, I've been worshipping Jesus not only as the Lamb who was slain but as the great and powerful Lion of Judah.
As you think about Jesus as the Lion of Judah, I wonder what comes to your mind?
What does "Lion of Judah" mean for you?
It Speaks of His Kingly Authority
Lions are scary and fierce. They are powerful and known as the kings of the jungle. I'm reminded of the Chronicles of Narnia, where C. S. Lewis writes about a conversation between Mr. Beaver and Susan. Mr. Beaver tells Susan, "Aslan is a lion—the Lion, the great Lion."
"Ooh," said Susan, "I'd thought he was a man. Is he—quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion."
"Safe?" said Mr. Beaver, "Who said anything about safe? Of course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you."
Jesus came not just to save you from hell; He came to be your King. In our Christian walk, particularly here in the Western world, we want safe, don't we? We want a faith that does not challenge our lifestyle, our purse strings or our comfort.
Yet, the Lion of Judah, who is our King, calls us away from comfort, safety and stability. He calls us to the adventure of living out our faith in a tangible way before the world. And He promises that in our journey there will be suffering and sorrow.
Ouch! Who wants suffering and sorrow? Right? Yet, Jesus consistently calls us to lay our lives down in favor of His life (Gal. 2:20). As the Lion of Judah, Jesus reminds us that our life is not our own—we have been bought with a price (1 Cor. 6:20).
It Speaks to His Desire for Praise
The name "Judah" means "praise." In the title "Lion of Judah" we are reminded that Jesus desires and deserves all our praise. Why does He call us to praise Him? Is He some insecure being who needs an "atta boy" every now and then? No! Jesus invites us to praise Him because as we praise and worship Him, we are changed. We become as that which we worship (Ps. 115:8).
Our primary calling as followers of Christ is to worship and praise Him. Every other calling is secondary. May I challenge you? Set aside at least 20 minutes each day to simply worship the Lord Jesus Christ.
It Speaks to His Ultimate Victory Over Evil
At times it may feel like evil is winning. But friend, evil is not winning. Jesus Christ, the Lamb who was slain and the Lion of Judah, is victorious. You can stand in that victory. It has already been won. When you feel discouraged or defeated, remind yourself that the Lion of Judah is your victory.
Friend, may I encourage you? You have the Lion of Judah as your King. He is the only one worthy of all your praise, and He is victorious. Take heart. You win because He wins!
Becky Harling, an author, certified speaker, leadership coach and trainer with the John Maxwell Team, is an energetic and motivational international speaker inspiring audiences to overcome their greatest life challenges and reach their full God-given potential. Her most recent book is How to Listen So People Will Talk. Her husband, Steve Harling, is the president of Reach Beyond, a nonprofit organization seeking to be the voice and hands of Jesus around the world.
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