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Thursday, March 3, 2016

Lion and the Lamb

Greetings Warriors and Scholars.

Found on the Sentinels Wiki.

I hope your March is coming in more like a lion than a lamb for you, unless you are like me and enjoy thunderstorms. A few weeks ago I got to play as "The Naturalist" in Sentinels of the Multiverse. If you haven't played it, Sentinels is a card game that is cooperative. You all play as heroes fighting a villain in a chosen environment. It is a great game. The Naturalist could have been inspired by any of several DC comics characters (Beast Boy seems to me to be the most likely, but you also have Vixen and Animal Man). He morphs into different animals to use their abilities and he has 3 specific animals for you to choose from (Crocodile, Rhinoceros, and Gazelle). Our villain literally kept putting me in a cage again and again...but finally my guy broke out of it as a crocodile and finished him off. Don't worry, my comrades did a lot to bring him down and help me out.

This last Sunday at church we sang "Lion and the Lamb". It was rather fortunate timing since we were about to coming into the month that is said to come in like a lion or a lamb, but it made me think about some things.



These two ideas are rather polarized from each other. A lamb is very calm and gentle; but sheep are also easy to control. You send a dog out and they'll have them all corralled for you. Lions are wild. They are called the king of the jungle because they don't listen to anyone (remind you of owning a cat?). They control their territory and man has no influence on their decisions (although they do tend to stay away from cities, I think). Send a dog our to tame a lion and you won't get your dog back. You have an animal who is all power and an animal who is all about gentleness.

Beastboy is known to change into many animals. I don't think I've heard of him changing into a lamb before. Even the Naturalist from Sentinels of the Multiverse doesn't use lambs, and this is a guy who turns into gazelles (albeit for their speed). But scripture uses this as a significant symbol. In fact, lambs were very important for the sacrificial system in Jewish Temple life. In John 1:29, John the Baptist called Jesus the "Lamb of God" one time when he saw him approaching. Side note, I can't imagine growing up knowing your slightly younger cousin was the savior of the world. That must have been crazy! Revelation 5 refers to Jesus as both a lion and a lamb. John is weeping and an angel says "stop weeping, the Lion of Judah will do it." When John looks, he sees a 'lamb that was slain" standing in the spot of the Lion.

Jesus is powerful. The gospels record dozens of miracles of power that he performed including raising the dead and healing people of many ailments. Yet, when Jesus was arrested, he did nothing. He didn't call down angels to defend him. He actually stopped Peter from physically defending him and then healed one of the men sent to arrest him. With all the power of the Lion, Jesus didn't use the Lion card. He chose the Lamb card for that moment. He chose to accept the cross, a very painful form of death, knowing it would be torturous.

He did this for you and me and even that neighbor you don't like who is really annoying. Jesus accepted a painful death, one of the most painful in history, because he cares about us all. He chose to be the sin offering for us, just like the lambs were in the temple. He did this so you can draw close to God and experience Him in your life. Does a ticket to Heaven come with it? Sure, but not in the sense of just sitting all comfy on a cloud. Read Hebrews 9:11-15 and/or Romans 3:21-26. Freedom from sin and new life of righteousness in God are the goals.

Jesus didn't break out of his cage. He chose to stay so His death would pave way for us to live in righteousness. I think that beats Animal Man and Beast Boy and The Naturalist any day of the week.

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