The Lion and Lamb Symbolism in the Bible and in the Narina film and books
- From: "Noah's Dove" <noahdove7@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: 4 Apr 2006 23:49:08 -0700
Judah is a lion's whelp; From the prey, my son, you have gone up. He
crouches, he lies down as a lion, and as a lion, who dares rouse him
up? The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from
between his feet, until Shiloh comes, and to him shall be the obedience
of the peoples.
A lion has roared! Who will not fear? The Lord GOD has spoken! Who can
Then I began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open
the book or to look into it; and one of the elders said to me, "Stop
weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of
David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals."
Genesis 49:9-10, Amos 3:8, Revelation 5:4-5
The lion is a glorious animal, boasted as the king of the jungle,
strong and mighty, a symbol throughout history and folklore of power,
courage and nobility. There is something uniquely intriguing about the
king of the jungle. A vision of the tawny-toned creature with its
magnificent mane, whether sprawling in splendor or stalking in
arrogance, can't help but elicit a sense of fear and wonder. Families
and nations alike have identified with the beautiful beast, inscribing
its likeness on crests and coats of arms and national flags.
In the beloved apostle John's unimaginable vision of eternity some two
thousand years ago, his eyes were drawn at one point to a throne. There
God almighty held a scroll that could set in motion the judgments
necessary for the culmination of human history and the commencement of
the new heaven and earth. John passionately yearned to see the book
opened, to discover the secret treasures hidden in its words. When
there seemed to be no one worthy to unseal the book, John began to
weep. And as he did, a loud voice pierced the air, crying out: Stop
weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of
David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals
The momentous symbolism behind this lone Biblical reference to Jesus as
a Lion harks back to the time when Jacob, father of the nation of
Israel, called his sons together on his deathbed to bless each one with
a prophecy concerning their future. As he came to Judah, he likened him
to a young lion that would one day overpower his enemies, earning the
adulation and allegiance of all his brothers. Hundreds of years later
the prophecy was gloriously fulfilled as the tribe of Judah stormed
into battle carrying a banner etched with the likeness of a lion, to
secure the area in the promised land for all the other tribes.
When a lion roars in the jungle, he can sometimes be heard up to five
miles in every direction as he marks out territory upon which no other
beast dare encroach. As a descendent from the tribe of Judah, Jesus
went like a Lion to the Cross, marking out for Himself the territory of
our souls. It is finished! He roared, discharging a war cry that
reverberated through the canyons of eternity, shattering enemy
strongholds and establishing once for all the victory of redemption. He
has risen! The disciples proclaimed, and the echo of that sound fills
the hearts of rescued men, reminding us that the land is ours, never
again to be taken by enemy forces.
One day the scroll John wept over will surely be unsealed and with it
the promise that God's judgments are sure. Jesus, carrying a banner of
war, will defend the honor of His name by destroying all that falls
short of His glory. Until that remarkable day we live in victory,
relishing the joy of overcoming grace. We tremble in His presence,
thankful that we who through fear of death were subject to slavery all
our lives, have seen the evil one rendered powerless by the prowess of
our indomitable Leader (Hebrews 2:15).
The Lion from the tribe of Judah has roared! Bring on the victory
dance, clang the resounding cymbals, death is defeated and God's
marvelous reign is established in our hearts. The kingdom has come! His
will has been done! Fear no more, for the Lion is worthy to open the
scroll! Glorify His name!
The end-time judgments against evil are sealed in God's hands and can
be set into motion only because of Christ's victory over darkness
through His death and resurrection. In what ways might the reality that
God's judgments are sure, offer comfort to you in your daily life?
Jesus is a Lion, a warrior who faces for us every skirmish against sin,
for He has already won the war and desires to daily empower us with
greater freedom in His kingdom. As you look at the day before you,
consider all its parts in light of this truth. Thank Him aloud for each
situation in which He will demonstrate His power for victories already
Jesus, in dying on the cross engaged in a bloody battle for the
territory of your heart.
The LION and the LAMB
In his death on the cross, Jesus Christ Fulfilled all the picture of
redemption of the Lamb who was in the mind of God, for then and there
he became the lamb slain, the token and seal of God's salvation
promises to man, as well as the covenant, victim and the memorial meal
of that covenant.
In Revelation 5 there is a scene in heaven, before the throne of
Almighty God. A scroll which is sealed cannot be opened by any man or
angel or any other creature. Seeing this in vision, John weeps because
there could be found no one to open the great scroll. However, he is
reassured: "The Lion of the tribe of Judah has triumphed. He is able
to open the scroll" (Rev. 5:5).
Now comes one of those little twists that wonderfully characterize the
Bible. The great conquering Lion of Judah now comes forward to open
the scroll. But he doesn't appear as a "lion" -- John sees him
as "a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain" (v. 6). And we are
reminded that it was as the lamb to slaughter led, bruised, suffering,
dying, and finally dead, that Jesus became the great conqueror! He
stooped to conquer. He humbled himself to be exalted. He emptied
himself before he could be filled. He knelt to wash the disciples'
feet before he sat as host at the table. He wore without complaint the
crown of thorns before he ever thought to wear the crown of gold. He
laid down his life, in abject and total self-denial, before he ever
donned the mantle of victor, lord and king.
The secret strength of the Lion is, ever and always, that he is first
and foremost the Lamb of God.
Aslan is the King of Narnia in C.S.Lewis's "The Lion, the Witch and the
Wardrobe" gives up his life
like a sacrificial lamb.
Behind the literary masterpiece reviewed in this workbook is the late
C. S. (Clives Staples) Lewis who is considered one of the most
influential writers of the 20th century.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, first published in 1950, is a
moral response to the bewailing state of children's literature in the
1940s. Yet, beyond the moral message, there is a symbolic story of
Biblical proportions that illustrates Lewis' personal relationship with
Therefore, it is helpful to keep in mind the definition of parable when
reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The Greek meaning for
parable is "to set along side of." A parable is a story that is "set
along" a spiritual truth to make that truth more understandable. The
Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is similar in that it is a fantasy
story with a message that parallels the Biblical teachings of law,
grace, salvation, redemption, death and resurrection.
Dr. Michael Travers *, English professor, published author, literary
scholar, and Lewis expert, offers a detailed examination of the
Biblical parallels and Christian symbolism that permeate The Lion, the
Witch and the Wardrobe. According to Travers, when it comes to the
Christian elements in the story, "Lewis responded by saying that... he
suffuses Christianity throughout the book."
Since the Christianity in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is
embedded, many parents may question its appropriateness simply because
it includes evil, magic, violence and a witch.
"The question for parents is not whether they should allow their
children to see the movie or read the book on that ground alone,"
Travers explained. "The question is, rather, how is the evil presented?
Is it shown to be evil, or is it presented as attractive?
"Evil in Narnia is clearly very evil," he said. "It would be difficult
to conceive of a child preferring the White Witch [who is selfish,
cruel and nasty] to Aslan [the messianic lion]. ...On the other hand,
good is presented as attractive in Narnia. Aslan is gracious, strong
and loving. Peter, Susan, Lucy, and eventually even Edmund, rise to
their highest powers under the influence of Narnia good."
"The other point to remember is that, unlike the Harry Potter series,
evil magic in Narnia is never praised and never victorious," Travers
added. "Edmund's evil is pure arrogance and selfishness; it needs no
magic to augment it."
The story comes down to the fact that good is victorious over evil as a
result of the redemption brought to Narnia through the death and
resurrection of Aslan. Furthermore, the magic is not to be understood
as an occultic power but rather as a type of enchantment that brings to
light the issue of law and grace.
"The lines between Narnia and our world are clear," Travers explained.
"In this novel, it is a big wardrobe that provides entrance to the
magical world of Narnia, and everyone knows when the human children
have crossed from one world into another and back again. This, too,
distinguishes Narnia from Harry Potter.
"[This] magic, along with... evil, should present opportunities for
parents to talk with their children about moral and spiritual issues
and help guide their thinking as they read the book or watch the
movie," Travers encouraged.
Biblical parallels and symbolism taken from Travers' teachings,
Aslan: the incarnation of Christ in a world of talking beasts
Battle: struggle between good and evil
Statues brought to life by Aslan: perhaps either salvation or Pentecost
Deep Magic: Old Testament Law
Deeper Magic: God's grace
Edmund's waywardness: an example of human sin
White Witch: evil
The symbolism can easily be identified in the context of the story and
can be expanded upon as parents and children read the story and/or view
the movie together.
* We acknowledge Dr. Michael Travers as an independent resource. His
comments are not an endorsement of the workbook or the contents of this
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