So, I sat down to write this blog about the month of March and my mind began to trip over a bunch of associations — there’s March Madness, Spring Break, St. Patrick’s Day, and the Ides of March.
But, none of those really sparked anything for me. Instead, I kept finding myself humming a song from an old musical, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. A line from one of the songs is, “March comes in like a lion — What else? Still the snow never melts.”
March comes in like a lion.
We come into the month on a massive cloud of rain, wind, and snow. The poor East Coast has been hammered this winter! Crazy weather that really does seem like a lion roaring at us all.
But then it goes out like a lamb.
The snow starts to melt. The trees, plants, and flowers start to bud and bloom. Animals come out of their winter hiding. Everything seems calmer, newer, fresher, much like a baby lamb.
The same month can be two very different ways. Polar opposites even. In a short span, by the same name, we have two very different aspects of this month’s nature.
I think the reason why all this has been buzzing in my head is because Jesus is described in the Bible as both a lion and as a lamb. He is both. He can roar as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah and He can humble Himself as the sacrificial Lamb. The same God displaying two different aspects of His nature:
power in strength (lion) and power in humility (lamb)
love by protection (lion) and love by sacrifice (lamb)
justice (lion) and grace (lamb)
It can be tricky for us to hold both of these aspects of Christ in our minds.
You may find yourself drawn toward one more than the other. Maybe you like the idea of Jesus as a lion. I mean, we all loved Aslan from Narnia, right? Remember how the beavers described him? “Always good, but never safe.” That is Jesus as the lion — the very essence of goodness, but not safe or predictable or controllable.
Or you may find yourself preferring to see Jesus as the lamb — humble, sacrificing, grace-giving, approachable, inviting, and warm. This makes me think of that old drawing of Jesus surrounded by little children with the softest, kindest look you could imagine on His face and a slight halo around His head. So nice and loving and huggable.
The problem is that He is not one or the other — Jesus is both. He is the Lion and He is the Lamb.
- Is He humble? Of course! But He is also stronger than anyone or anything else in existence.
- Didn’t He show us His love by sacrificing Himself for us? Definitely! But He also shows us His love by disciplining us and protecting us and testing us.
- Doesn’t He want to give grace to everyone? Yes, but He is also just in way that surpasses all human understanding of justice.
As we grow in our relationship with Jesus, we need to embrace all of who He is. We need to understand and respect both the Lion and the Lamb within Him. Jesus is not a buffet where we can take a little bit of this, a whole lot of that, and skip over the things we don’t want at all.
Jesus has made a way so that He can love all the parts of you — your strengths and your weaknesses, your exposed parts and your hidden parts, your best self and your worst self. He embraces all of you. He invites you to embrace all of Him.
As we come out of the month like a lamb, as we head toward Easter, let us rejoice in the entirety of who our Jesus is. Let’s celebrate that He loved us enough to lay down His life like a lamb and His love for us continues as He guides us forward like a lion.
About Jennifer Miller
Jennifer Miller, MAR, MA, LPC is a Christian pastor, professional counselor, and author of No Longer Two: A Guide to How God Created Men, Women, and Marriage. For over a decade, she has been combining her expertise in psychology and theology to help individuals, couples, and families both in private practice and in ministry, as well as through her writing, speaking, and teaching.
She is the co-founder and Co-Executive Director of The Center for Living Well, a nonprofit Christ-centered wellness ministry dedicated to helping people live well and love God. She regularly leads classes, workshops, and retreats on a wide range of topics including faith and relationships. She is also a Master-level Christ-Centered Yoga Leader at the Center.
Jennifer is one of the new co-hosts on Heart and Soul with Jory Fisher. You can listen to her with Jory the second and third shows of the month.