"I think it's meaningful but I dont think everyone will understand it. I think the bear represents humanity and what we did and still do to Jesus." Kiyoko Ellison
"He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth." Isaiah 53:7
Had He spoken, His judges would have misunderstood His words. His message didn't fit their view of reality. They couldn't see beyond their personal wants and their earthly existence. From their finite perspective, His meekness looked like weakness. His submission seemed like passivity.
But the Lamb was strong, not weak, when He stood silent before His accusers. He modeled strength when He chose obedience instead of resistance. His meekness demonstrates, not passivity, but a resilient power to endure any trial by trustful surrender to the will of God [the Father].
They put Him to death ... or so they thought. In reality, His accusers had no power to take His life. The man they so arrogantly taunted was the eternal King, the Creator of the universe! Nothing would, and nothing could, happen apart from His sovereign will and eternal plan.
That vast eternal plan is infinitely greater than all our human dreams and plots. It far exceeds our finite human comprehension. Yet, wonder of wonders, it includes an unending love relationship between God and those who would trust Him.
For even before the beginning of time, "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8)" ... chose to enter our world ... (and) while living among us as man, chose to submit to those who scornfully accused and tormented their own Maker and Lord, chose to submit to us.
"He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed." Isaiah 53:5
Those words were written centuries before His bloodied, tortured body hung on the cross. Throbbing with pain, He fulfilled that amazing prophecy. "He poured out Himself to death (Isaiah 53:12)", a death that bought our pardon, freed us from bondage to sin and offered up His holy, abundant, never ending life to all who would believe.
Jesus says, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
Do you believe that? Are you willing to endure discomfort, deprivation and pain ... in order to share His joy and glory forever?
Paul did. Paul was. "What things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ," he wrote to his precious friends [the church] in Philippi. "I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death...." Philippians 3:7-10
Remember the Lamb's path of triumph: "Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain." John 12:24. Through the fellowship of His suffering, we are "conformed to His death." When we surrender our finite lives into His caring hands, He fills us with His victorious life that will never die.
Behold the reigning Lamb: Crowned the King of Kings, the Lamb now reigns from His heavenly throne ... and receives praise.
"Worthy is the Lamb that was slain
to receive power and riches and wisdom and might
and honor and glory and blessing...
forever and ever. Amen."
I choose to share in your death and resurrection. I rejoice in the amazing reality that "I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me." So take my life. Mold me and use me for Your purposes. Let your will, not mine, be done, even when my flesh screams a silent protest to your good and perfect will.
I know that these moments of earthly pain are producing "an eternal weight of glory" that far exceeds both temporary suffering and my limited understanding, even "while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:17-18
Thank you, Jesus, my precious Shepherd, glorious King and eternal Lamb.... Please prompt and enable my heart to worship you every hour forever.
"Blessing and honor and glory and power
Be to Him who sits on the throne,
And to the Lamb, forever and ever!"
Credits: Picture, Jim Woodring http://jimwoodring.blogspot.com/2008/01/jesus-and-bear.html. Article, http://www.crossroad.to/Victory/names/lamb.html.