Summary: As with Aslan in Narnia, the resurrection of the Lord Jesus signifies His ultimate triumph over sin and death.
The Lion Returns
In the book The Life of Pi, Pi Patel, a little Hindu boy goes into a church and asks the priest to tell him a story. The priest tells him the story of Jesus. The next day Pi goes back and asks to hear another story. The priest very wisely tells him Christians have only one story. All the other stories we have are introductory and commentary on that one story.
Christmas is only the beginning of the story. Jesus’ life, death and incredible resurrection is the main body of the story. Today, we are here to remember the one story, the story of the life and death of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah and His return.
Jesus is only called a lion once in the Bible, but God is called a lion several times as is the king of Judah. What is more, a prophecy from Jacob says that Judah is a sleeping lion, waiting till the time is right to take the throne forever. Jesus is the fulfillment of all these images.
▸ He is the king
▸ He is God
▸ He is the ultimate child of the tribe of Judah
▸ And He will prove it in the last day when he does things no one else can do
Jesus is the Lion
In the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, the whole land waits for the coming of the Lion Aslan. When he comes, the power of evil is broken and the faithful find purpose and meaning in their long resistance to the white which. Winter is over and the king walks among them. All their problems are over.
Or are they?
The disciples certainly thought all their problems were over when Jesus came.
▸ He was the messiah
▸ He was the promised king of the line of David
▸ He was a powerful miracle worker
▸ He successfully faced off with the most powerful people among the Jews
Here was a man who understood people and who had the ear of God. What more could they ask. All their problems were over.
Or were they?
The development of the world’s perception of Jesus during His life
All through Jesus’ life people’s understanding of His identity grew. Nathaniel was the first to recognize Him as king. Others recognized His power early and were constantly amazed at the scope it reached. Then they recognized His authority, not just spiritually and naturally, but socially and politically. Soon they began asking Him questions about His identity. For the most part, I believe people followed Him for the food and the show, some had personal reasons related to their health or that of their loved ones. He began doing illegal things and raising questions about the source of His right to do them. Soon the resident powers started getting annoyed and wanted to discredit Him and plotted to kill Him.
At this time, some began getting a clearer idea of Jesus’ true calling and wanted to make Him king by force. John the Baptist really understood first. From prison, he sent messengers to Jesus to ask Him whether He was the one they were waiting for. Jesus sent back a message quoting Isaiah who had given massive healings as a sign of the coming kingdom.
The Apostles got it next, calling Him the Son of God. They asked Him questions then not about His identity, but about His meanings and methods. Then their questions started aiming toward position, “who is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven?” Finally, more personal questions arose, “Where do I get to sit? Can I sit next to you?” They had it better, but not quite fully yet.
The apostles finally started understanding the magnitude of what Jesus had come to do. They already knew He was a king, They now accepted the implications of His relationship with Scriptural prophecy. He was the Messiah, the coming king. And they already knew He was the Son of God, this was going to be absolutely Huge!
As Jesus’ death approached, people at large finally began taking in all the Jesus had been saying about the Kingdom of God. They began understanding that in the Kingdom of God, Jesus was the King. When Jesus arrived in Jerusalem before the Passover, they hailed Him as King, to the great upset of the Pharisees. Jesus didn’t take the city by storm and the Apostles, who thought they understood what was going on, began asking how to recognize the coming of Jesus’ coronation.
Then things started getting confusing. Jesus gave them signs that applied to times that were much more terrible than the times they lived in. Finally, at the Last Supper, Jesus reveals Himself completely as one who is a servant about to be killed. They Apostles are astounded and confused for hours while Jesus explains the way His kingdom will work, through the coming of the Holy Spirit.