Once while visiting Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo, I felt a lion’s roar. I say I felt it rather than heard it because it rattled my chest. It shook the building to its foundations.
If you ever doubted the power of a lion, its roar would eliminate that doubt and settle any debate about who is the true king of the jungle. I’ve been in the eye of a hurricane. I’ve been at the epicenter of earthquakes. But, nothing quite matches the power and intensity of a lion’s roar.
As we consider the Symbols of Liberty this week, we turn first to the symbol of the LION. You’ve probably seen the banner with the rampant Lion hanging from the balcony each week at worship, or perhaps you’ve seen the glint of the sun off one of the weathervanes. Perhaps you’ve wondered though, “Why a lion?”
It’s a reference to the book of Revelation. In Revelation 5:5 Jesus, the heir to the throne of King David, symbolized as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah is declared to worthy to be the true king over all creation. All of heaven declares the praise and glory of Christ, and all of creation bows down in worship at his throne. Clearly, the Lion is powerful and mighty, majestic and glorious.
But what makes this mighty, lion-like Christ worthy to sit on the throne of heaven and earth isn’t his might or his strength. Instead it is that his might and strength are made known through his willingness to give his own life to liberate his people from the grip of sin and death. It isn’t just the lion’s ferocity that makes him worthy to be king, it is his ferocious, powerful strong love for all of us and each of us that reveals his royal glory to heaven and earth. The mighty, glorious, ferocious power of God is the saving, majestic, earthshaking power of his love.
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