Posts tagged ‘lamb’

Who is Your Guide?

For the Lamb on the throne will be their Shepherd. He will lead them to springs of life-giving water. And God will wipe every tear from their eyes.  Revelation 7:17

I was in medical school at Loma Linda University when my sister and her family came to visit me during the summer for a week. During that time we went to the usual sites in the area including the mountains and the beach. On one particularly hot day we made the mistake of hiking at Joshua Tree National Monument, which is located in the high desert close to Palm Springs. We shortened our hike to get back to the car where we had left our water. And that’s when I realized I had only brought enough water for one or two people in conditions like this. We were all so thirsty that we had to abandon our plans and drive to civilization where we could find water. It was a painful experience. 

Imagine if I had hired a guide to take us through Joshua Tree that day. She would have brought plenty of water for everyone because she would have been familiar with the trails, the weather, and all of our needs to have a pleasant experience. John paints such a picture of Jesus in Revelation. He came to this earth as a lamb the same as you and me. He experienced the trials and temptations that are present on every hike we take. And He knows exactly what we need. Because He came as a lamb and died for us on the trail of life, He became our Shepherd. He knows the trails, He knows the conditions, and he knows us. And He brings with Him all the life-preserrving water that we need to not only survive, but to thrive every hike we take with Him. 

But there’s more. God the Father is with us too! He is watching over us. When we hike with His Son,  He wipes away our tears. We usually see this as a promise in the future when Jesus comes to take us to our heavenly home. But I have found that He wipes tears away today as well. He wipes away the tears created from our fears, our self-doubt, and the pain from such things as feeling like we are unloveable. Whatever your struggle that is causing the deepest pain, your heavenly Father is there to wipe away those tears and fill you with His love. He knows exactly what you need as your Shepherd empathizes as one who has experienced exactly what you are going through. 

Why not allow Him to wipe away your tears today as you accept the Kingdom of God into your heart? When Jesus is your Shepherd, your Guide, you have an endless supply of water that will transform your life and wipe away your tears.

The choice is ours. We can walk through life on our own or allow Jesus to be our Guide. 

Are You a Lion or a Lamb?

“Stop weeping! Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the heir to David’s throne, has won the victory. He is worthy to open the scroll and its seven seals.” Then I saw a Lamb that looked as if it had been slaughtered…   Revelation 5:5-6

Lions are ferocious fighters with no natural predators. So the lion has earned his name as the king of the jungle even though they actually live on the savannah. Two male lions will fight to the death if need be for the attention of a lioness. And so when the question is posed in Revelation as to who will open the scroll that has a message of hope for God’s people, we see the Lion who “has won the victory” to claim His bride as the one equal to the task. Opening the scroll by breaking the seven seals one at a time, Jesus who is the Lion claims His wife, the church, as His own.

And yet when John looks at the scene, he discovers the Lion is actually a Lamb! And not just any lamb, but the Lamb who was slain for our sins. We see a great truth for our daily lives in this imagery of Revelation. Jesus won the victory by laying down His life for all of humanity. He became a lamb because we are lambs! He died as a lamb because of His great love for us. He took our sins whose weight crushed Him on the cross. He won the victory, not as the Lion that He was, but as a lamb He came to be. He won the victory over sin with love as a lamb, not with the teeth of a lion. It is the power of love in the end, not the power of might that wins. 

We are thankful for the Lamb who went to the cross for us, but we live like lions most days. When someone mistreats us or falsely accuses us, we find it hard to live like a lamb. We are even puzzled to know how to turn the other cheek and love our enemies as Jesus has instructed us to do. We feel justified in doing about anything to the person who mistreats us. We will hurt them emotionally with our words and attack them spiritually with His Word.

As I read these verses today, I am convicted to love all people. It will take the strength of the Lion of Judah to tame my lion-like tendencies, but that is what I seek. I have never been tempted to hurt anyone physically, but it is my tongue that strikes like a lion. What will you submit to the Lion of Judah to be tamed? How will you love others as the Lamb of God loves you? 

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