I recently watched a documentary called “Eternal Enemies”. The documentary focuses on the ongoing conflict between lions and hyenas and follows the ruler of the savannah, a lion, named Ntchwaidumela or “He who greets with fire.” What plays out is a fascinating turf war in which the hyenas clash with the lions in an effort to take control of his domain. In the final scene, while Ntchwaidumela is away patrolling the outside edge of his kingdom, the hyena pack leader instigates a take over. With taunts and aggressive moves, they look as if they will conquer the lions.
As we continue our current sermon series through Revelation, I couldn’t help but draw some parallels between Ntchwaidumela and Jesus. In chapter 5 John is distressed when he sees the scroll in which God’s eternal plan of redemption has been written. It is sealed with seven seals. He weeps because no one is worthy to open it, to look into it or to execute its decrees. Then one of the elders said to him, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”
What’s fascinating is that John hears of this Great Lion in (verse 5) and he turns to see for himself. But what he sees is the Slain Lamb (verse 6). Is this a mistake? No, not at all. The elder in Revelation speaks in the past tense. The Lamb has conquered. It was on the cross as the sacrificial lamb that Christ has conquered. This was the plan for our salvation.
You have to know that this is no ordinary lamb. This is Jesus. He is powerful, unstoppable, eternal and invincible. As stated so clearly by God himself in the garden, Satan may bruise His heel but He will crush Satan’s head (Gen. 3:15). The victory has been won, Christ is on the throne.
In the documentary, just when it looked as though the hyenas were gaining ground “He who greets with fire” returns. He quickly deals with the matter in an effortless collision with the pack leader by literally crushing it’s head. As you consider the world today, it may look as though the church is losing ground, but rest assured Christ is King and His kingdom is protected and His people are secure. One day He will return and the defiant taunts and obstinate aggression of the world against the church will end. Persecution, sorrow and pain will be no more. Satan will lead no more skirmishes against God’s people.
If you don’t mind a little animal kingdom violence I encourage you to watch the clip below to watch Ntchwaidumela deal with the Hyena. This is a powerful picture of The Great Lion of Judah establishing His rightful rule proving that only He is worthy. This is why the four living creatures and the 24 elders in Revelation all fall down before the Lion/Lamb and sing a new song.
“Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” 5:9-10
Worthy is our King who has conquered! May that truth encourage you as you face any and all difficulties this week.