You can count on it

Since I turned over the calendar leaf a few days ago, I’ve been reflecting about that old proverbial saying, “If March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb.”

The saying is thought to have originated from a play written in the 1600’s by English playwright John Fletcher.  

Eventually, the idea appeared in American writings including John Adams’ 1788 diary in which he wrote, “The month (March) comes in like a lion, and according to the farmer’s proverb it must go out like a lamb.”

The meaning of the phrase is simple.  The early part of March, which often brings wintry weather and wild winds, can be compared to the roaring of a lion, while the end of the month, when hopefully Spring has arrived, will be calmer and consequently more lamb-like.

Back in the day,  people believed bad spirits affected weather, so caution was not thrown to the wind, so to speak.

Writer Sandi Duncan on, offers her thoughts, “With March being such a changeable month, in which we can see warm spring-like temperatures or late-season snowstorms, you can understand how this saying might hold true in some instances. We can only hope that if March starts off cold and stormy it will end warm and sunny, but the key word is hope. However, this saying seems be to more of a rhyme rather than a true weather predictor.”

In other words, don’t hold March to anything.  The consensus may be that it’s way too unpredictable.  How true!  Last Saturday, the temperature peaked into the 50’s here, then the very next day, we awakened to snow which lasted all day.

I’ve been stewing on this lion and lamb thing ever since March arrived.  As often happens, God plants a little seed of thought in my brain and I need to ponder it, research some scripture and see where His Word takes me.

Every time I hear “If March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb,” I think of Jesus because He first came to earth as a tiny human baby, innocent and gentle as a lamb, but when He returns He will be like a lion.

Jesus sacrificed His life, like Old Testament lambs were slaughtered for sacrificial purposes, to atone for my sin and yours, so that we may be reconciled to God the Father.  Scripture refers to Jesus as The Lamb, Lamb of God and sacrificial Lamb.

The prophet Isaiah describes in the Old Testament how Jesus would die as the sacrificial Lamb: “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away.  Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living;   for the transgression of my people he was punished.” ~ Isaiah 53:7-8

In the New Testament, John the Baptist identifies Jesus as the Lamb of God in John 1:29-30: “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is the one I meant when I said, A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.”

Other passages that refer to Jesus as the Lamb are found in Acts 8:32, 1 Corinthians 5:7, 1 Peter 1:19 and the book of Revelation is filled with references to Jesus as the Lamb.

Most people think of Jesus as meek and mild, gentle and gracious.  Sounds like our perception of a lamb, but Jesus is so much more!   When He comes to earth again, He will be as ferocious as a lion!

The Apostle John refers to Jesus as the Lion of Judah in Revelation 5:5:  “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.’ ”

In Revelation 10:2-4, John compares Jesus to a lion:  “He was holding a little scroll, which lay open in his hand. He planted his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, and he gave a loud shout like the roar of a lion. When he shouted, the voices of the seven thunders spoke.  And when the seven thunders spoke, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven say, ‘Seal up what the seven thunders have said and do not write it down.’ ”

John vividly describes the Second Coming of Christ in Revelation 19:11-16:  “Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”

Now that doesn’t sound like a meek and mild lamb does it?  Even though Jesus certainly is the Lamb of God, He assuredly is also the Lion of Judah.

The description of Jesus in Revelation rocks the boat of those who believe Jesus is just about love and gentleness. For those of us who call ourselves believers in Christ Jesus, we must understand that He is both the Lamb and the Lion, who will return triumphantly to exact final judgment on this earth.

Today is Page Seven, Chapter Three, in my book of Opportunity and I must share with you that the Lamb of God/Lion of Judah is coming again.  Are you ready?  Is your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life?  Because unlike March with its unpredictability, Jesus’ Second Coming is something you can count on.



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