Summary: Four metaphors that depict various aspects of our Lord’s relationship to all who believe in Him.
THE LAMB, THE LION, THE EAGLE, AND THE HEN
"They conquered him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they did not love their lives in the face of death.” Revelation 12:11 (HCSB)
The title of today’s sermon gives us four metaphors that depict various aspects of our Lord’s relationship to all who believe in Him. A metaphor is “a figure of speech in which a word or phrase literally denoting one kind of object or idea is used in place of another to suggest a likeness or analogy between them.” (Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary) There are many wonderful metaphors that can be used to portray the greatness of our Lord Jesus Christ. We will look at four of them today.
I. THE LAMB (CHRIST OUR SAVIOR)
Most of us would probably agree that the best known metaphor used in association with our Lord Jesus is the lamb. That opinion is well-founded because of its frequent use in Scripture. Many Christians are convinced that the animal that was slain in Garden of Eden to provide clothing for Adam and Eve’s nakedness was a lamb but the Bible does not identify the specie. The situation is different when we come to the Passover sacrifice. Although the Passover sacrifice could have been an unblemished goat (Exodus 12:5) it was from the beginning almost always a lamb. For centuries it has been referred to as “The Passover Lamb”. John the Baptist used that metaphor when he referred to God’s Sacrifice for the sin of the world. Notice the two times John referred to Jesus as the Lamb of God.
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29 (NKJV) Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, "Behold the Lamb of God!" John 1:35-36 (NKJV)
These two verses at first glance seem to say the exact same thing but a closer look reveals otherwise. John (1:29) as he was seeing Jesus “coming toward him” told his disciples to “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” What John saw was the Person of our Lord Jesus, and seeing Him, he told his disciples that Jesus was the Lamb of God who would take away the sin of the world. But notice in the quote from John 1:35-36, John described Jesus “as He walked” as being “the Lamb of God!”
You may say “What’s the real difference?” Looking at the Person of Jesus Christ we see Redeeming Lamb but looking at Jesus “as He walked” (or to say, as He lived) we recognize Him as the Lamb of God. This is to say that our salvation is not found in the life (or the walk) of Jesus but in the death that He came to die!
In the Revelation, John describes the scene around the throne of God. Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying: "You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth." Revelation 5:7-10 (NKJV)
In today’s text, John describes the victory of the redeemed in heaven, writing "They conquered him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they did not love their lives in the face of death.” Revelation 12:11 (HCSB)
II. THE LION (CHRIST OUR COMING KING)
The Lord Jesus at His return will execute judgment upon Satan, his hordes, and all who are not redeemed. Revelation 5:5 (NKJV) tells us, “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.’"
John describes the coming victorious scene. “Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” Revelation 19:11-16 (NKJV)