Daily Devotion for March 1, 2021

The next day he (John the Baptist) saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29
Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”                        Revelation 5:5

The first day of March reminds me of the simile that has been with me since childhood used to predict the weather in March, “In like a lamb, out like a lion;” Or, “In like a lion, out like a lamb.” It is certainly a lamb-like gentle beginning to March in 2021 and I hope the weather does not become that roaring, storming lion by the end of the month. I am ready for spring!

It is interesting that in Scripture those two terms are also used to describe Jesus and that they inform our Lenten journey. We witness the strong gentleness of Jesus throughout his earthly ministry as he teaches, heals, lifts and transforms the lives of many. Then, as the days of his earthly life draws to a close, we hear the haunting prophesy of John the Baptist when he greeted Jesus at his baptism with “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” The paschal lamb, in the sacrificial system was used as a yearly sacrifice to cover the sins of the people. Yet, Jesus crucifixion, according to Hebrews is to be the sacrifice one and for all to cover the sins of the world. I give thanks for the Lamb of God.

Jesus narrative does not end with the death of a lamb, but with resurrection and ultimate victory as the Lion of Judah. The title “Lion” in this sense is not ferocious as in scary, but depicts royalty, a sovereign who will bring eternal justice and peace. In the “Chronicles of Narnia” Aslan is the great lion, creator and one true king representing all that is good in the world.

I am grateful for the good news of both scriptural images. I give thanks for the gentle Lamb who comforts me when I am weak and offers forgiveness as a gift knowing that I cannot “fix” all the wrongs or sins of my past or the future. I also draw strength from the Lion in times of trials in this wilderness journey of life. The wilderness struggle is not the end! Because of resurrection hope and the Holy Spirit that is with us, we can experience a full, abundant life filled with joy on this journey even as we await the fullness of God’s reign to come. I do not know how the weather in Wisconsin will turn out this March, but I celebrate Jesus, both the Lion and the Lamb of God, in my walk of faith!
Thank you, most merciful God, for the variety of images with which you reveal yourself to us in order that we might know you and your grace more fully. Touch our hearts and lives with your gentle mercy and give us your strength to navigate whatever life puts in our path this day. This we ask in the name of Jesus who is the Lamb of God and the Lion of Judah. Amen.