Everyday Encounter with God

Pastor Sylvia's Encounters with God in the Midst of Everyday Life


Lion and the Lamb

Each week of Lent, I am considering the basic tenets of my Christian faith. What do I believe and why do I believe it?

At the end of C.S. Lewis’ third book in “The Chronicles of Narnia,” there is a powerful encounter between the two human heroes, Edmund and Lucy, with Aslan, the Lion who represents Jesus Christ:

At the end of the world, where the Narnian sky meets the earth, Edmund and Lucy climbed out of the Dawn Treader and began to wade southward along the beach. But between them and the foot of the sky there was something so white on the green grass . . . they could hardly look at it. They came closer and saw that it was a Lamb. “Come and have breakfast,” said the Lamb ….

Then they noticed, for the first time, that there was a fire lit on the grass and fish roasting on it. They sat down and ate the fish … and it was delicious.

"Please, Lamb," said Lucy, "is this the way to Aslan’s country?"

"Not for you," said the Lamb. "For you the door into Aslan’s country is from your own world."

"What?!" said Edmund. "Is there a way to Aslan’s country from our world?”

"There is a way into MY country from all the worlds," said the Lamb; but as he spoke his snowy white changed into tawny gold, and his size changed, and he was Aslan himself, towering above them and scattering light from his mane.

C. S. Lewis skillfully uses two biblical images for God’s Messiah – a lamb and a lion. In the person of Jesus Christ, both images come together in sharp conflict and perfect compliment.

Jesus discretely and gently restored joy and celebration to the wedding feast in Cana when he turned water into wine. Every human relationship (even the best marriage) has occasional empty days, dry hearts, and joyless conversation. Jesus demonstrated that he can and does restore our delight.

Jesus takes away the sin of the world, sparing us the agonizing pain we deserve for the wrongs we’ve committed. As God’s perfect Lamb in human flesh, he came to remove the sorrow and punishment for our selfishness. Only Jesus turns our water into wine.

In the Book of Revelation, the Lamb lights the city of God – eliminating any need for either sun or moon. He brings safe comfort to those of us who are scared of the dark.

The Lamb is gentle and easier to love than the Lion because the Lion is terrifyingly ferocious. Of the 150 times that the Bible uses “lion”, or “lioness,” none refer to a gentle or friendly relationship. The scriptural purpose of lions seems to be for frightening and eating people and other unsuspecting animals. How can anyone expect to survive such an encounter?

Shortly after the wedding a very different Jesus entered the Temple and confronted the hucksters of his day. The Lamb transformed into the Lion. God’s fierce passion was evident in his anger that day as Jesus drove the money-changers from their robbery of the Jewish faithful.

I am always comforted by scripture’s portrayal of Jesus the Lamb. He willingly provides comfort and rest and joy whenever we go to him, nuzzling our faces in his unblemished wool. Jesus at Calvary is an eternal portrait of the sacrificial Lamb. 

Then I remember the Lion who passionately declared his Father’s righteous anger and disgust for sin and selfishness. Jesus at the Temple was Aslan the Lion pouncing with deadly precision.

However, on the cross Lion and Lamb became one in passionate love.