This is a subject came to me one day on a prayer walk. I have painted it many times before but never like this. It’s an image that has never managed to stay with me very long before someone has acquired it. It just seems to speak to hearts and for that I praise God.
I call it Dichotomy, a most unusual portrait of Jesus. It portrays Him as the lion of the tribe of Judah and the lamb of God. To me this captures both parts of his mission, Lord and Savior, the King and the Sacrifice. He is both to me, My Lord and mighty protector and gentle savior. I love this image but in the past, whenever I painted it, both faces were painted gentle with mouths closed, pictures of gentle strength. I always felt like something was missing.
I was reminded of this when reading the Chronicles of Narnia. In describing Aslan the lion, the Christ figure in the story, one of the children said, He’s not a tame lion but He is good. Somehow We’ve made the lion of the Tribe of Judah a soft little kitty cat and that is hardly the case. Jesus is the very essence of power. My lion needed to roar.
And the lamb. We have so sanitized the price He paid on that cross, that I don’t think we really think about the agony our sins cost. Maybe it’s easier that way. My sins could hardly have caused more than a flesh wound. No your sins and mine caused brutal agony and death, no matter how good we may think we are. Jesus paid a high price for you and me and we need to be grateful.
Putting these images together should provoke deep emotion. We see the mighty powerful roaring King. He could easily destroy us and with good reason, but instead He puts His might to use as our protector. We see the gentle lamb, who could have run but instead He stood in our places and took our beating. It’s a picture of a love without limits, a picture of boundless grace. It shows how much our Lord values you and me and begs the question, how much do you value Him.