Israel was looking the the Lion of Judah and got the Lamb of God. Does the Church have a similar problem?
I’ve studied both Old and New Testaments, comparing Jewish and Christian commentaries, and found striking similarities. Having read only half of the book, many theologians have the limited perspective common to their incomplete approach. This is especially true of modern liberal theologians
The Lion and The Lamb
There is one area where this has profound and even eternal consequences, and that’s prophecy. Our Lord is described in Scripture both as the Lion of Judah (Gen 49 and Rev 5) and the Lamb of God (John 1). As I’ll show you, having the correct understanding of which one He is at a particular moment in history is critical to your destiny.
What’s a Sadducee?
At the time of the Lord’s first visit, the prevailing theological view was that of the Sadducees. As the liberals of the day, they were a lot like main line denominations today. They had abandoned the literal interpretation of Scripture, and disavowed the words of the prophets. They didn’t believe in angels and rejected the notion of an afterlife.
They had aligned themselves with the more modern Greek style of thinking and dress, and adopted a superior and somewhat intolerant attitude toward those who clung to the old ways and traditions. Being largely from the upper levels of Jerusalem society, they were politically active and favored an accommodation with the beliefs of neighboring nations, who had become their captors.
Because of their abandonment of a literal view of scripture they were vulnerable to the whims of pagan thinking, and woefully ignorant of the Lord’s promises. Like most of the Biblically unschooled through out history they distorted what little they knew of God’s plan to suit their own desires. Their way of thinking constituted the majority opinion in the Sanhedrin, Israel’s ruling body.
Oblivious to the incredible problem of their own sinfulness, they longed for a powerful, warrior Messiah who would throw off the Roman yoke, and restore their Kingdom to its glory days, and in the bargain protect and preserve their pampered life style. When the Messiah came, He pointed out their sin problem, and the insufficiency of the Law to solve it, but they wouldn’t have any of it. Thinking they were saved because they kept the Law, they ignored the admonition to accept His gift of Grace and turn to the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
They were looking for the Lion of Judah but John the Baptist introduced Him as the Lamb of God. Because He wasn’t what they wanted, they failed to recognize Him, to their everlasting shame.
They’re Not All Dead Yet
The mainstream Church today is the modern day equivalent of the Sadducees. They also reject the literal interpretation of Scripture, and discount the words of the prophets (in fact all the Old Testament.) Like their Sadducean forefathers, they have adopted the ways of the world and seek accommodation with those of differing views and lifestyles. They have also adopted a superior and somewhat intolerant attitude toward those who cling to the old ways and traditions.
Oblivious to the incredible problem of their own sinfulness, they long for a kind and gentle Messiah who will in a great outburst of unconditional love welcome them one and all into a utopian kingdom they don’t even believe in. Thinking they are saved because they have joined a church, or do good things, or contribute a little of their excess, they ignore the admonition to accept His gift of Grace and turn to the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
They’re looking for the Lamb of God but instead will meet the Lion of Judah. Because He isn’t what they want, they will fail to recognize Him, to their everlasting shame.
First The Lamb
John 3:17 proclaims, “… for God didn’t send His son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through Him.” How is that accomplished? Romans 10:9 adds, “… if you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Then The Lion
2 Peter 3:10 warns, “But the Day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar, the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.”
The Final Exam
Who knows how many, seduced by the liberal theology of the modern day Sadducees, will fail the test of Romans 10 and become fuel for the fire of 2 Peter? Such a clear choice. Have you made it?