The Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. Revelation 5:5
Two stately stone lions watch over the entrance to the New York Public Library. Hewn from marble, they’ve stood there proudly since the library’s dedication in 1911. They were first nicknamed Leo Lenox and Leo Astor to honor the library’s founders. But during the Great Depression, New York’s Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia renamed them Fortitude and Patience, virtues he thought New Yorkers should demonstrate in those challenging years. The lions are still called Fortitude and Patience today.
The Bible describes a living, powerful Lion who also gives encouragement in trouble and is known by other names. In his vision of heaven, the apostle John wept when he saw that no one was able to open the sealed scroll containing God’s plan of judgment and redemption. Then John was told, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah . . . has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals” (Revelation 5:5).
Yet in the very next verse, John describes something else entirely: “Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne” (v. 6). The Lion and the Lamb are the same person: Jesus. He’s the conquering King and “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). Through His strength and His cross, we receive mercy and forgiveness so that we may live in joy and wonder at all He is forever!
What’s your favorite name for Jesus? What aspects of His character make you want to praise Him most?
Beautiful Savior, I could praise You for all eternity and never come to the end of all that You are. Thank You for giving Yourself for me, so that I may live in Your love forever!
In Revelation 5:1–7, we see Jesus depicted as both a lion and a lamb, seemingly polar opposites. Yet in Jesus, they’re not. He’s a Lion to conquer Satan (Revelation 20:10) and a Lamb to satisfy God’s justice by being sacrificed for our sins (John 1:29). And He’s no ordinary lamb. Though slain, this Lamb is still standing, bearing the wounds of His sacrifice, and He has seven horns and seven eyes (Revelation 5:6). Commentator Matthew Henry states that this series of seven (the perfect number) signifies “perfect power to execute all the will of God and perfect wisdom to understand it all and to do it in the most effectual manner.” Why? Because He has seven spirits of God: “He has received the Holy Spirit without measure, in all perfection of light, and life, and power, by which he is able to teach and rule all the earth.”