The Lion and the Lamb are two images and names of God used in Scripture that describe aspects of Jesus. The attributes of Jesus are as powerful and majestic as a Lion and innocent as a sacrificial lamb.

Joel Ryan

When we study the biblical narrative in its entirety, we discover just how complimentary both of these images are to the power of Jesus Christ, whose purpose is prophesied in the Old Testament and fulfilled in the New Testament.

Many may look to Isaiah 11:6 as a passage that points to Jesus as the Lion and the Lamb, however, this is a common misconception. The author writes, “ and the wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the young Lion and the falling together; and a little boy will lead them.” Here Isaiah was prophesying that the coming Messiah and the messages His angel would temper even the wildest hearts and bring people to those who were formally enemies, wolfs and lambs, calves and young lions.

Christ’s connection to the Lion and the Lamb actually goes back much further and is revealed much more thoroughly in Revelation 5.

Jesus Is The Lion Of Judah

The earliest reference to Jesus as a Lion, however, can be found in. Genesis, where Jacob (Israel) delivers parting words to each of his sons. When he arrives at Judah, his fourth born, Jacob says:

“Judah, your brothers shall praise you; your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; your Father’s son shall bow down to you. ‘Judah is a lions whelp; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He couches, he lies down as a Lion, and as a Lion, who dares rouse him up, who dares rouse him up? ‘The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until Shiloh comes.” – Genesis 49:8-10.

Significance Of The Lion And Judah

Here the imagery of the lion reflects the powerful, majestic, and kingly nature of the lion, often regarded as king of beasts. Applied to Judah, this is significant because it heralds the lineage of Judah as that of kings. For out of Judah’s line, King David and his descendants would rule over Israel until the time of the Babylonian captivity (1 Chronicles 2; 2 Kings 24); and generation’s later, Jesus Christ would come as a descendant of David and Judah to forge a new covenant and usher in a new kingdom of heavenly glory ( Matthew 1:1-17).

When Jacob says that “the scepter shall not depart from Judah, not the ruler’s staff from between his feet,” he was also proclaiming the eventual Kingdom of Jesus Christ, who will be forever as king, the scepter being a symbol of his kingly authority and lordship.

This is the main reason why Jesus is often referred to as the Lion of the Trimble of Judah.

Jesus Is The King Of Kings

In the New Testament. The imagery of the lion is further fulfilled in Jesus Christ, who was prophesied to be the “root of David’ (Isaiah 11:1-2 and his “branch” (Zechariah 3:8).

In the book of Revelation, the apostle John is also given a vision of the heavenly throne room in which the one seated on the throne is handed a scroll sealing with seven seals (Revelation 5:2-3). When no one is found worthy to open the scroll, John begins to weep (Revelation 5:4). This is when one of the elders says to him, ‘stop weeping; behold, the lion that is from the Trimble of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.” (Revelation 5:5)

This is clearly referring to Jesus Christ, the Root of David and the Lion of the tribe of Judah, who is worthy to open the scroll for being the one to conquer sin and death through His work on the cross. (2 Timothy 1:10, Isaiah 25:8, 1 Corinthians 15:25-26, Hosea 13:24).

Here the true power of the King of kings (Revelation 19:16) and Lord of lords (Revelation 17:14) is revealed as a lion who is majestic, fierce in love, and worthy to be called king.

Jesus Is The Lamb Of God

In the later verses of Revelation 5, John then writes, “and I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain….And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne” Revelation 5:6-7).

With this revelation. John confirmed Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God, for as the Lamb took the book, those witnessing sang, “worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9).

Significance Of The Lamb:

The lamb has enormous significance going back to the days of Abraham and. Odes. In the Old Testament, prior to the exodus from Egypt, the children of Israel were instructed to take the blood of an unblemished lamb and smear it in the doorposts and lintel of their houses ( Exodus 12:1-13). That night, as the angel of the Lord passed through Egypt to strike down the firstborn of each household, those with the blood of the lamb on their doorposts would be passed over and sparred. From that days on, the Lord commanded the Israelites to celebrate and remember their deliverance for Egypt and commemorate God’s provision in their lives. Such called Passover. (Exodus 12:14).