While listening to Nancy Leigh DeMoss this morning (I highly recommend her current series on the Wonder of His Name) I became intrigued with the fact that our Lord is so diverse, such a study in contrasts. We hear that He is the beginning and the end, the Alpha and Omega, and I tend to think of that in relation to time, but even in the Now, Jesus is diversity personified.
One of the elders said to me, “Don’t cry. Look, the Lion of the tribe of Y’hudah, the Root of David, has won the right to open the scroll and its seven seals.”
Then I saw standing there with the throne and the four living beings, in the circle of the elders, a Lamb that appeared to have been slaughtered. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the sevenfold Spirit of God sent out into all the earth.
Rev 5:5-6 CJB
I don’t know how I managed to read that passage so many times without realizing how very surprising it is. John is told, “Behold the Lion,” and he looks up to see…a Lamb. If you were to happen on that passage by accident, you would assume that either there was a typo or the writer was really confused. Was it a lion or a lamb? A lion who had won or a lamb that had been slaughtered? There’s a pretty big difference!
But, as Nancy pointed out, He is both. And that’s what makes our God so amazing.
How can the most powerful Being ever, the one who created the entire universe, completely surrender—actually allow himself to be killed by His own creation? How can the one who is beaten and slain by His adversaries come out victorious? How can He be both meek and mighty at the same time?
And then I remember that we are being changed into His image.
So all of us, with faces unveiled, see as in a mirror the glory of the Lord; and we are being changed into his very image, from one degree of glory to the next, by Adonai the Spirit. 2 Cor 3:18 CJB
But that makes it even more confusing. Am I to be changed into a lion or into a lamb? Are lamb and lion different degrees of glory? Is there one time to be a lion and another time when I should be a lamb? But no, I don’t think so. Jesus is completely a roaring, powerful, majestic Lion, but at the exact same time, He is absolutely the meek, harmless, gentle Lamb. It’s another of those conundrums that I simply can’t fold my mind around. He can be both at the same time, because He is God.
Notice in the 2 Corinthians passage above that all of us are being changed into His image. It’s not just me who is being changed into his image; it’s all of his children!
Dear friends, we are God’s children now; and it has not yet been made clear what we will become. We do know that when he appears, we will be like him; because we will see him as he really is. 1 John 3:2 CJB
And suddenly, it makes sense that WE—the entire body of believers—will be like Him. I cannot be like Christ on my own. I am not big enough to encompass such a huge spectrum of perfection. But His plan is that all His people, together, will be like Him.
When I think of how very diverse my Lord is, how many facets there are to His nature, I realize that we, the body of Christ, will never be just alike. We won’t look alike, act alike, or think alike. Some will be lions, some will be lambs, some will be starters, some will be finishers, some are peacemakers, and some are warriors. Our God doesn’t want cookie-cutter Christians. Look at the amazingly diverse people He has used throughout time to accomplish His plan—a king, a harlot, a fisherman, a blind man, a lunatic, an adulteress, a shepherd, a businesswoman, a soldier.
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
Romans 12:1-5 NASB
Just as a machine has many and varied parts,
so does the body of Christ. The parts are shaped
differently and function in a variety of ways,
but all work together to fulfill the end result.
One bolt that anchors the unit is just as important as the most complex gear, and a motherboard cannot function without that one tiny dot of solder. Every part, however small, is vital.
And what a miracle that it all works together, this body of believers. All those different shapes, different personalities, different gifts coming together to express the fullness, the all-encompassing, perfectly complete nature of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We are changed into his image…from one degree of glory to the next.
And we are Diverse. Together.