Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Lions and Lambs

You know the old adage about March? "In like a lion, out like a lamb"? I didn't understand that phrase for the longest time.

Probably because I live in Chicago.

March rarely leaves like a lamb.

In fact, most memories I have of the season preceding Easter is catalogs and flyers selling sleeveless dresses for little girls and shorts sets for little boys and me wondering who is going to see those cute little outfits under their parkas?

I can count the number of warm Easters we've had on one hand. And I'm middle aged.

And it's not just the temperature that lacks all things mild at the end of March. The weather is generally pretty volatile with late night thunderstorms and bone chilling mornings. This year was no different.

The lion still roars at the end of March.

On Friday the DVD for the third "Chronicles of Narnia" movie (based on C.S. Lewis' books) comes out, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. I can't wait to see it. We missed it in the movie theatres because it was only released in 3D which means tickets were $10 a piece and I couldn't justify spending $50 to take my three kids to see it with one bucket of popcorn and a shared pop.

I love the Aslan character and how He is a metaphor for Christ in so many ways. When he roars the power is palpable. The books and the movie often describe Aslan as being good, but not tame.

That sounds like Christ.

And then there are the lambs popping up everywhere. In the store fronts and the newspaper ads, on the children's books at the library and scattered about the church signs in people's yards...everywhere you look there are soft, wooly lambs. To some people they're just a sign of spring. A reminder to stop by Fannie Mae and get going on your Easter baskets. To me they are so much more. They are a symbol of another attribute of my Savior.

In Old Testament times there were a lot of sacrifices made to God. Many of them were lambs. They were used as offerings to atone for sin. In Exodus, Chapter 12 you can read about the first Passover. It was a lamb's blood that was spread over the doorpost of those who followed the Lord's command so that their firstborn's lives were spared. The lambs used were to be without blemish. The lionlike God was coming with judgement and a sacrifice needed to be made.

I find that one of the most fascinating things about God. He always provides the very sacrifice He requires.

Even more fascinating is when He becomes the sacrifice.

One lamb slain for all.

There's a great song we sing at church especially during lent. It's by a well known worship leader, Chris Tomlin. It's one of the few songs that captures the uniqueness of God's character. And how He simultaneously embodies what seem to be contrasting qualities.

There is only one who is both lion and lamb.

"How Great Is Our God"

The splendor of a King, clothed in majesty
Let all the earth rejoice
All the earth rejoice

He wraps himself in Light, and darkness tries to hide
And trembles at His voice
Trembles at His voice

How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God, and all will see
How great, how great is our God

Age to age He stands
And time is in His hands
Beginning and the end
Beginning and the end

The Godhead Three in One
Father Spirit Son
The Lion and the Lamb
The Lion and the Lamb

Name above all names
Worthy of our praise
My heart will sing
How great is our God

How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God, and all will see
How great, how great is our God

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