Is God a Lion or a Lamb?
When I think about who God is I often think about what the Bible reveals about God. I see a God who creates, who upholds right and wrong, who saves, who is jealous, who gives gifts, who destroys nations, etc.
It is often that I try to craft God’s character to my own and align God to match my own ideals and ethics. This is perhaps the very reason that I stop hearing from God because I have stuffed him in my very defined and human box. I think I have God pegged as my genie in the bottle that will bail me out when I pray.
Very soon after coming to this very limited and pathetic human conclusion, God breaks out of my box and shows me that I have been worshiping my own god that does not even have .01% of the power that God has. This is not just my error, this is the error of all human religion as we try to make God in our own image and we become enemies of the living God who created us.
The truth is that God does and continues to surprise us. For example, the Jewish people were promised a Messiah, a person from the line of David who would sit on his throne and rule forever (2 Samuel 7). Isaiah spoke of this Messiah and said that he would suffer and die for the people (Isaiah 53). David wrote a psalm of how this man would not stay dead (Psalm 16:10). Daniel wrote the exact time that this man would arrive and that he would be cut down (Daniel 9). Isaiah says that this man would pay for sin (Isaiah 53). Jeremiah says he will bring peace and the nations will know God (Jeremiah 31:12).
So the confusion comes when we try and rely on our human understanding to interpret these things. The Jewish leadership decided that since the Messiah had to die and also had to not die, then there must be two Messiahs, either a Lion or a Lamb. Sure that could work since there had been messiahs before. Remember King David, Moses, any of the Judges, they all saved the people right? So the expectation of what a “messiah” does is already set and the Jewish people did not expect anything different that a conquering Lion of a man who will over through the government and be king for a while.
This was not and is not the plan of God. You can see God’s plan spoken plainly through the prophets and you can see the Jewish people blatantly take the parts that fit their expectations and reinterpret the rest. Who would have known that God would become flesh and be both the Lion and the Lamb? Who would have thought that God would give His only son, a Jewish concept by the way (Proverbs 30:4), to die for our sins. That Jesus would rise from the grave three days later having now paid in full all sin and satisfied the wrath and judgment of God. Perhaps it was the same reason Pharaoh did not let God’s people go, perhaps the hardening of the heart is very similar or the same as having a veil over your eyes (2 Corinthians 3:14). It is because of Jewish rejection that the nations have received Jesus the Jewish messiah.
So while many Jewish people today say that the Messiah must:
- Be King
- Bring peace
- Make God known among the nations
- Rebuild the temple
I must point out that Jesus:
- Is King in heaven and His kingdom is being spread on earth.
- Brings peace in the heart which can only be achieved after sin has been conquered and relationship between God and human is restored.
- Caused the knowledge of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to spread to every nation for the last 2000 years and is still being preached.
- Is God’s temple, and the dwelling place of God was destroyed the day Jesus was put to death and was rebuilt three days later. Revealing that the dwelling place of God was Jesus’ body and not just an Ark or building made by men. (John 2:19)
It is often said that it is out of ignorance that a Jewish person comes to believe in Jesus. Yet, how much more ignorant is it for my people to ignore the prophets, ignore that Jesus made claim to his own Messiahship, ignore that the Messiah is both a Lion and a Lamb. Don’t follow the worldly teachings of the Rabbis, they are keeping God in a box.
Proverbs 3:5-6, Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
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