For the proclamation of the Gospel and the edification of the Body of Christ
As a Lion or as a Lamb?
A call to the Church to continue on the way to Christ in humility.
"They therefore, when they were come together, asked him, saying, Lord, dost thou at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" (Acts 1:6).
This question, seemingly so out of place, is not so inappropriate, given the course of events which the first disciples lived, that is:
a) They knew and experienced that which no man in mankind's history had ever imagined: to share in Christ's life.
b) They had never heard anyone speak with such authority and at the same time with so much simplicity (no intellectual of that time could understand Him).
c) Until that time they had never seen wonders or miracles performed by any man (they had only heard about the wonders performed by the old prophets).
d) But what truly surpassed any other previous experience was to see the Lord Jesus Christ's resurrection, with a glorified, transformed and heavenly body.
All the doubts were cast away, faith and hope were recovered, "normality" was resumed, and so the question asked by those who had gathered together simply followed logic. We, being in their position would have asked the same thing. What's more, even up to today, we continue asking similar questions to this.
When we receive revelation of what Christ's Body means, when we realize that nothing in this world exists, absolutely nothing, like the church, then logic tells us that the church should occupy key positions and that we should emit our opinions regarding all the contemporary issues, that this society should listen to us, that the governments should consult with us, that we are important in opinion polls, that we should have our own candidates and get elected, that we should have a belligerent attitude toward idolatry, that we should demand the same rights that others have, etc,
What did John see in chapter five of Revelation?
John, the disciple who the Lord loved, who was kept until the end of the first church times, who was already an old man, had stressful and exhausting experiences, filled with overpowering emotions; however, he was sustained by the Holy Spirit in order to show him undisclosed and very important things for the church and its future.
"And I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open the book, or to look thereon" (5:4). John didn't have any other alternative faced with the impotence, the inability and the weakness of human beings (because John knew within that the problem didn't have a solution; there was nobody in the whole universe who would be able to open the book and its seals). So when one of the elders announces " Weep not; behold, the Lion that is of the tribe of Judah..." (v.5), it must have provoked an abrupt change in his emotions. From hopeless grief to an indescribable joy; from nothing to everything; yes, because, there truly was a solution.
It wasn't a human solution, but a divine one. Once again God surprised him. But the surprises continue: What did a lion mean to John? What does a lion represent to us? For John's contemporary civilization, a lion represented fierceness and the power. There is nothing to be more feared than a hungry lion; it is respected by all animals. It is an animal that represents sovereignty. (In our days, England is represented by a lion on its national shield, and it is historically a country of war). So John would justify his joy thinking: "finally at the end of human history, of sin, of man's filthiness, the murder of Jesus Christ, the persecution against the church and of its martyred saints, etc, they are re-vindicated by the Lord Jesus Christ, our Redeemer and Savior. Therefore, that which best represents Him is a lion; it was a guaranteed result, the sovereign over all.
Finally justice would be done; all will be at His feet, from Satan and his hosts of wickedness, to all those that rejected Jesus Christ". So John prepares to see his majestic and sovereign Lion and... again, he is surprised!, because what John saw was not a lion, but a lamb! And what's more, not a simple lamb, but a lamb recently slain.
What should the church always be like?
Brothers and sisters, what is our position regarding the church? How is the church to make itself manifest; as a lion or as a slain lamb?
I think that the position which the church is to have in our society should represent the Lord: the church should be like a slain lamb.
Never, in its history was the church more glorious and more powerful than when it was persecuted and fought against. It was invincible, for wherever the brothers and sisters went, they revolutionized everything in their path. And it was not the first church's desire to appear in the powerful strata of the society of that time. None of our martyrs treasured anything on this earth: their greater glory was to fight for Jesus Christ's cause. Christ's sufferings was their banner. As a slain lamb they defeated the Roman empire, the most powerful empire that ever existed.
I ask: In the times to come, will there be anyone worthy to open the book and its seals? Yes, only the church!
We all know that one of the events which will later happen is that the church will become a single body. All united, miraculously united. And starting from that moment, the church will acquire an unsuspected power. But we won't be able to establish the Kingdom of God, nor will we be successful in our task, if we don't observe the fact that God will always give the victory to the humble and the meek of heart. God wants to restore His true Israel in this time. Let us not mistake the Way. It will always be the Lamb who is the overcomer.