Day 14: Jesus is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah
Isus Je Lav Is Judinog Plemena (Bosnian)
Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.” – Revelation 5:5
A lion is a mighty animal, which we can only see in the zoo since Bosnia and Herzegovina is not their natural habitat. Even though we don’t have them here, we learn a lot about lions by what we were taught in school or watch on television. The lion is known as the king of animals, which fits the picture of what a lion represents in Revelation 5. The lion is a symbol of authority, strength, power, and rule. Many ancient royal crests and seals depict the image of a lion.
In Genesis 49: 8-10, Jacob blesses his son Judah with the following words:
8 “Judah, your brothers will praise you; your hand will be on the neck of your enemies; your father’s sons will bow down to you. 9 You are a lion’s cub, Judah; you return from the prey, my son. Like a lion he crouches and lies down, like a lioness—who dares to rouse him? 10 The sceptre will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he to whom it belongs shall come and the obedience of the nations shall be his.”
Here Jacob is speaking about a ruler king who will come as a descendant of the tribe of Judah. He is speaking about the son of David, the Son of God—Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords.
After the terrible war in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 1990s, the political situation became perpetually tense. Since we have three major nationalities in the country, we don’t have just one president. Instead, we have three presidents! Each president often fights for the interests of his own national group, which are sometimes contrary to the interests of the other two national groups. That results in many divisions, misunderstandings, disagreements, and tensions. Those tensions are reflected in the society, which is also divided by nationalities. The rare place where national divisions don’t exist is in the evangelical church, among the fellowships of believers and followers of Jesus. One of the things that makes believers in the church different is an awareness that we Christians are the children of the same Father and subjects to the same King. Our King, Jesus, is one who is good, just, and perfect, and He cares for His subjects. It is common for today’s politicians and rulers to care only for members of a certain political group or even for their own personal interests. Jesus is a different ruler. He loves us so much that He gave His life as a ransom for our sins so that we could have not only eternal life, but also this present life lived to its fullness (John 10:10). After His death on the cross, He rose again and ascended into heaven where He now reigns as King. In John 14:2-3, Jesus said that He is going to prepare a place for us and then He will return for us.
Knowing that Jesus, the great and powerful Lion of Judah, cares about us gives us strength and hope as we encounter the challenges of everyday life. He is reigning and working to bring about His good purposes. History is in His hands—that’s what it means when Revelation 5:5 says that He can open the scroll and its seals—and will culminate with His eternal reign, just as the angel said to Mary in Luke 1:31-33:
“You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
Slavko Hadžić is the Langham Preaching regional coordinator for Southern Europe and an evangelist. He lives in Sarajevo where he has been pastor of an evangelical church for 15 years.