I wish I had been awake more often in English class in high school and college, or at least more attentive. Fortunately, there are dictionaries and other helps to make up for the holes left in my education caused my lack of concentration. Like recently when I wanted a good definition for the word, “metaphor.”
The Cambridge Online dictionary came riding to my rescue, “an expression which describes a person or object in a literary way by referring to something that is considered to possess similar characteristics to the person or object you are trying to describe.” For example, when you say, “That guy is a real turkey,” “turkey” helps you understand the nature of the person it replaces. A metaphor. Got it?
Nations try to come up with symbols, which they hope express the soul of their people. Thus we see the English lion, the leopard of the Democratic Republic of Congo, or the United States eagle. People often refer to, “the Russian bear.”
The French nation symbol is the rooster, which has symbolized the French fighting spirit and ancestry for a long time. According to Wikipedia: “Its association with France is due to the play on words in Latin between Gallus, meaning an inhabitant of Gaul, and gallus, meaning rooster, or cock.
A French friend says that the real reason is that the rooster is the only animal in the barnyard who can still crow when he’s up to his knees in barnyard fertilizer.
What’s Your Symbol?
If you could pick an animal to represent you which one would you choose? Guys might choose a Tyrannosaurus Rex or something tough, strong and ferocious. Maybe you ladies would choose a swan. What would your wife choose for you, sir? (A monkey?) And what would you husband choose, m’aam (a chattering bird?)
Recently, I was a little surprised about what the Lord Jesus kept choosing to represent Himself in the book of Revelations, the last message to the Church.
A lamb? Come on. That’s not tough or lordly. Cute and cuddly, okay, but what king wants to be thought of as cute and cuddly? When we see all the little potentates of the world parading in full military regalia, their chests are bulletproofed by the incredible number of medals stuck to the front of their uniform.
Most of them would hardly know the barrel of a gun from its stock, let alone understand the violence of combat.
But look at the King of kings, the President of presidents! John was visiting heaven during this revelation, and an angel told him that the Lion of the Tribe of Judah was worthy to open a very important book. And John looked but he didn’t see a lion.
“And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.” (Rev. 5:6).
The Lamb appears over and over in the book of Revelation. Not even a grown-up sheep or a ram, mind you. A lamb! God’s throne is even called, “the throne of God and of the Lamb.” (Rev. 22:3). The Lamb of God gets equal billing with the Father, Himself.
It’s understandable why He speaks of Himself as a Lamb now, but why keep it up after He establishes His Kingdom? For eternity no less!!!
I believe that God keeps the symbol of the lamb because it’s a perfect metaphor, a perfect expression of his heart. Sure we see the Lord Jesus coming back as a mighty warrior, King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev. 19:11), but when the battle is over he puts his “lamb clothes” on again. It’s because it was as the Lamb of God, crucified on the Cross, He took away the sin of the world.
Churchhill will be forever defined by his role in World War II, George Bush by September 11. And the Lord Jesus will be eternally defined by the Cross.
Look At the Cross
If you really want to know what God is like, look at the Cross.
It’s courage you want symbolized, huh? Look at the Cross and see the Lamb–the One who spoke the word and the universe existed—see Him hanging there to pay the price for sins He never committed, just so that you and I could come into a relationship with God. Seeing Him suffering under the torturing weight of our sins.
Love? Beauty? Don’t look at Brad Pitt and Jennifer … oops, excuse me … Angela. Look to the Cross and see how important God thinks you are. As someone said, if there had been another way would you have given your son? God’s heart of love is best expressed by the Cross and the One who died on it for us.
For some the lamb is too soft, too sissy. But when the Son of God chose a symbol to represent Him, He chose a lamb because no lion, eagle, leopard or Tyrannosaurus Rex has ever done anything remotely as courageous or powerful as Jesus did in his love on the Cross of Calvary.
Look to Him today. Call on Him for forgiveness and a new life. “Behold the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world.” There’s nothing the Lamb would rather do than forgive you, bring you into right relationship with His Father, and give you eternal life.
He was slain but He’s alive forevermore and He hears the cry of everyone who humbly comes to Him in faith.
“Miracles happen because a lot of everyday things happen for years and years and years,” she said. “These people knew what they were supposed to do and they did it and as a result, nobody lost their life.” National Transportation Safety Board member Kitty Higgins said. (AP) (talking about the plane that landed on the Hudson)