We Are Following the Lamb

As Sara and I were walking our dogs through the neighborhood a couple of weeks ago, we noticed the license plate above on the front of an oversized pick-up truck.

We’ve lived in this neighborhood less than a year and it’s pretty clear where the angst-driven people live by their bumper stickers and yard signs. They glory in power, bluster in their anger at the world and seek to force change on their neighbors. I pray for them as we go by, knowing how tough it is to live with so much consternation and so little trust in the ways God works.

I don’t like a lot that’s going on in our world these days either. The overreach of government spending and power, imposing itself on every area of our lives is ghastly. But my hope for change does not lie in frustration or the political power it hopes to gain. I haven’t talked to the owner of this vehicle, so I don’t know what this sign meant to him, but I know there’s a meme out there among conservatives that we can’t be sheep anymore and just lay down and let the government, or the left, drive over us. We have to be lions, ready to avenge our grievances and force society to its knees. Sounds good, perhaps even Godly, but not if you’ve read the Book of Revelation.

Jesus does appear in the first chapter as the Lion of Judah, with fire in his eyes and a sword in his mouth. He’s worthy of that image. But every other time he appears in that book he comes as the Lamb of God. It’s the Lamb who was slain, who is worthy to take the scroll and open its seals. It’s the Lamb in the Center of the throne, the one the faithful follow at the end of days, and the Lamb is the groom for the Bride at the final marriage supper.

What do I take from that? God’s way to redeem the world is counterintuitive to human convention. We are seduced by power and seek to amass it to accomplish what we think God wants. But Jesus is not redeeming the world with has overarching power but by the tenderness of his affection. He doesn’t come as the roaring Lion, but the slain Lamb. The power of love is the opposite of the love of power. We plug into his reality not by seeking protecting our lives, but in laying down our lives and letting love win the day.

That’s why Jesus told his followers, “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; therefore be shrewd as serpents, and innocent as doves.” He didn’t send us out to be lions at war, but incredibly wise sheep who see everything differently than the world does. I know how ridiculous that can seem to people who’ve never tasted the awesome power of laying down your life instead of forcing your way. But there is no better time than to learn how he works we will need it in days to come. This is where words like gentleness, generosity, kindness, humility, and tenderness define our path, which those who seek power mock and belittle.

Yes, it can be a painful road at times but it is also the only road to the victory God seeks. It is what he has asked of us—to follow the Lamb instead of pretending to be lions. 

9 thoughts on “We Are Following the Lamb”

  1. Pingback: We Are Following the Lamb | Lifestream – The Faith Herald

  2. Very, very well said. I have seen these license plates all over the place in metro Phoenix. There should be a counterpush of “Sheep Not Lions” license plates. Perhaps that would remind us of our place and our mission, in an era where the Flag is superimposed into the Cross, and power respected (and desperately sought after) over humility.

  3. I especially love the paragraph that begins with “God’s way to redeem the world is counterintuitive to human convention”. Revelation is a book about how drastically different God’s methods are to those of the enemy. Force, coercion, manipulation of any kind is not from God.

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