“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29 ESV)
“Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered.” (Revelation 5:5 ESV)
At His first coming Jesus came as a Lamb. He was born as a helpless babe in a lowly manger. He grew up in obscurity in Nazareth. His public ministry consisted of teaching and miracle-working as He revealed the glory of God in grace and truth. He showed compassion to the crowds and restraint in the face of opposition. He set aside the use of His divine rights, refused to call the angels, and allowed Himself to be crucified on a cross. Then He rose again to live forevermore.
At His second coming Jesus will come as a Lion. He will appear in the heavens as the almighty King dressed in a blood-dipped robe, sitting upon a white horse, His eyes like a flame of fire. In righteousness He will judge and make war. He will strike down the ungodly nations and rule them with a rod of iron. He will execute the full measure of the fury of God’s wrath. Then He shall reign forevermore. (See Revelation 19 and Zechariah 14 for a depiction of Christ’s return.)
Jesus is the Lamb of God and the Lion of Judah. We worship and follow Jesus as both. As you celebrate the nature of His first coming, do not forget the nature of His second coming:
He came first as the Lamb sacrificed for our sins; He will come again as the Lion conquering His enemies.
He came as the Lamb silently led to slaughter; He will come as the Lion roaring in righteous fury.
He came as the Lamb who made peace with God through His death; He will come as the Lion who makes peace on earth through war.
He came as the Lamb to serve; He will come as the Lion to reign.
He came as the Lamb to seek and save sinners; He will come as the Lion followed by sinners now made saints.
The Lamb of God is the Lion of Judah. He who endured injustice will deliver justice. He who showed the mercy of God will pour out the wrath of God. He who conquered the grave will conquer the world.
The Christ child we celebrate at Christmas is the Son of God who came as our Savior and will return as our King. Lamb-like and lion-like, Jesus must be revered in all His qualities. Let us love and proclaim our Lord according to the full display of His person and work in the Scriptures.