The Lion and the Lamb
Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb…
Revelation 14:1 ESV
Writers and readers alike call it the plot twist. It is the moment in the story that we never saw coming. Connecting the dots of the tale you were sure it flowed in a particular direction and then out of the blue everything changes, and the characters are sent in a new direction. The story takes on a new hue as old characters are seen in a new light. Predictable tales bore us. The hero becomes the villain, and the village bum was really a doctor hiding from an unfortunately past. It is not just in novels, though, that we long for a plot twist.
From the dawn of time mankind has been searching for a hero, someone who will enter the theater of life and solve the world’s ills. Every generation has had its own version of a “new age,” wherein man will finally pull himself out the pit and walk on higher ground. We long for the day we will at last reach our full potential through the help of an uber man, in the words of Friedrich Nietzsche. The list goes back as far as Eve’s first son, Abel, as his mother proudly announced, I have gotten a man from the Lord, literally, the man. (Genesis 4:1) The parade of possible redeemers continued with Nimrod and included characters such as Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, and in our day, Joseph Stalin, and Adolf Hitler. Every new king who ascends the throne, as well as every politician who gets elected, is crowned to bring us all a better life with a new society. These self-acclaimed saviors are at least consistent. There all either fall flat or become corrupt with the power they are given. In the worst extremity they become tyrants and dictators who murder millions of innocent people.
The interesting thing to note is as soon as we rid ourselves of one failed monarch or president, we usher in another who will again leave us disappointed. We long for peace, stability, and prosperity from our leaders only to receive war, instability, and poverty. Mankind is as persistent as a ground mole and as hopeful as a spring rooster. We crow at the dawn of a new age and by supper we are all fried chicken. Will a man ever arrive to end suffering and bring in the hopeful future we all crave? Yes! A thousand times yes!
In the book of Revelation, the apostle John was told that the Lion of the tribe of Judah has prevailed to open the book of the seven seals. This book opens a new world wherein righteousness reigns. No more crime as man’s inhumanity to man ceases to exist. Wild with the anticipation of all humanity beating in his breast John leans forward to witness the one we have been waiting for, but he sees someone he never expected. To his wondering eyes he saw a Lamb amid the throne. The scene was astounding. John expected to see some great conquering army, led by a powerful commander, but witnessed a jaw-dropping scene. He looked for a Lion but saw a Lamb. A deeper paradox cannot be imagined as John looked at the One who had died, in full command of the book of life, and the future of the world. Oswald Chambers wrote, “instead he sees a lonely Figure ‘traveling in the greatness of his strength.’” Enter the plot twist.