First as a Lamb, Next as a Lion
When John the Baptist saw Jesus coming, He said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29)! Jesus came to live a sinless life and make Himself as an offering that was pleasing to the Father to take to Himself the wrath that we deserved. As if confirming his statement, John the Baptist repeats it a second time on the next day (John 1:36), and the apostle John writes in Revelation 13:8 that “all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him [the beast], whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Jesus was “like a sheep…led to the slaughter and like a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he opens not his mouth” (Acts 8:32), and this Lamb was foretold thousands of years before He came to the earth (Isaiah 53:7), but He came voluntarily and willingly gave His life, for no one really took it (John 10:17-18). Jesus came into the world as the spotless Lamb of God but will return the next time as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah and will rule the nations with a rod of iron (Rev 2:27, 12:5, 19:15).
Taking Away Sins, Judging for Sins
Jesus came to this earth to live a perfect life, making the unblemished sacrifice that was necessary to take away our sins. John wrote that “you know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin” (1 John 3:5). In the Old Testament, sins were never really taken away because the sacrifices had to be repeated over and over again. Even with that, they only covered sins, but Jesus took the sins and “not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2). The next appearing of Jesus is where He “will execute judgment among the nations, filling them with corpses; he will shatter chiefs over the wide earth” (Psalm 110:6). The first time He came to take away sins. The next time He will come to judge sin. He came first to seek the lost. Next He will judge the lost.
He Came to Save, He’ll Come to Reign
The Apostle John wrote, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). That was why He was sent–to save those who would repent and believe in Him (Mark 1:15; 3:36a). But the next time He comes, He will come for His Bride, the church, and “to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish” (Eph 5:27). In the first coming, He came to save us, but the next time “we will reign with him” (2 Tim 2:12), and at that time He will “have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth” (Rev 5:10), for He “has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father” (Rev 1:6).
Jesus is still giving time for those who have not yet repented and trusted in Him, but the day is coming when it will be too late, so today is the day of salvation (2 Cor 6:2). If you’re not yet saved, either He will be your Savior today or He will be your Judge tomorrow.