Jesus arrived at the city gates like a conquering king, but left on Good Friday like a "lamb to the slaughter."

The Lion, the Lamb, and the Colt

Sunday Scripture

In his classic book, Orthodoxy, G.K. Chesterton described paradox as an affirming of the white and the red but never the pink. Two seemingly opposing truths stand side by side, but never blend. The following life is a call to embrace paradox. We affirm the truth of  the incarnation in which Christ remained fully God while becoming, also, fully man. We depend upon the truth that our standing with God is firm and secure, that we are “seated in the heavenly places with Christ,” all the while slogging through the daily routines that are firmly tethered to this earth.

In our celebration of Palm Sunday today, we see Jesus, the King of Kings, entering Jerusalem, not on a war horse, but on a donkey’s colt. He arrived at the city gates like a conquering king, but left on Good Friday like a “lamb to the slaughter.”  Decades later, his best friend John must have looked back over his shoulder at this occasion while he pondered the mystery of this vision, recorded for us in Revelation 5:

 I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?’ And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. And one of the elders said to me, ‘Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.’

And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain…”

Jesus, Lion and Lamb

The Lion of the tribe of Judah is also a Lamb. He is the rabbi with the easy yoke and the light burden. He is the one who offers us rest; AND, he is the one to whom “all authority on heaven and earth has been given.”  John Piper expresses this so well:

The glory of Christ is not a simple thing. It is a coming together in one person of extremely diverse qualities.”

In our Lenten journey together, we have spent necessary time pondering Christ’s sacrifice. The “glory of Christ” we celebrate on Palm Sunday is a glimmer of light, a foreshadowing of the celebration that will follow the anguish and the blood of Good Friday. Christ the Lamb offered himself to be slaughtered so the power of Christ the Lion could be put on display as he crushed death and hell in his powerful jaws.

Open our eyes, LORD, to the beauty of paradox expressed in your physical presence here on this planet, in your death and resurrection, in your weakness and strength, in your meekness and authority. May your gentle love and your fierce enabling inspire in us an unshakable faith. We pray in the name of the Lion and the Lamb,

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Photo by Avel Chuklanov on Unsplash

28 thoughts on “The Lion, the Lamb, and the Colt”

  1. Oh I love this. I have also read that the truth is neither black nor white but grey. Your post also brings to mind a Tennessee Williams quote, “the violets in the mountains have broken the rocks.” A very small flower with a very small root system that is capable of changing the face of a mighty planet. Our faith in Jesus (and his paradox) which is seemingly just a very small thing, is actually able to conquer anything.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Michele
    Grateful for your message today as we all have to spend this palm Sunday at home missing our Sunday service
    in person and the passing and waving of psalms it certainly is a long journey to the cross.May the peace of the
    Lord Jesus go with us where ever He may send us and guide us through this wilderness.


  3. Your post reminds me that he is all things depending on the need. When we need a Lion, he is there and when we need the gentle Lamb, he is there. Have a great week and stay well.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Love that John Piper quote, Michele! It’s so true. I think Christ is like a diamond with so many sparkling facets with the turn of the gem in our hands. And I’m so glad for it! Thank you for helping to prepare our hearts for Resurrection Day, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautiful words and imagery, my friend. I’m reading Zechariah right now, and Jesus is called the Branch. I love the idea of a branch from heaven being extended to save us—all we have to do is reach out and hold on.


    1. Have you bumped into Nancy Guthrie’s podcast called Help Me Teach the Bible? I just listened to a fantastic episode in which she interviews a guy who is doing his doctoral dissertation on Zechariah! Excellent!


  6. Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Pleas stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn

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  7. Congratulations! Your post was my feature pick at #OverTheMoon this week. Each Hostess displays their own features so be sure to visit me on Sunday evening and to see your feature! I invite you to leave more links to be shared and commented upon. Please don’t forget to add your link numbers or post title so we can be sure to visit!


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