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Power and Tenderness

Weekly Devotionals

Power and Tenderness

18 “Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations.
19 He will not quarrel or cry out; no one will hear his voice in the streets.
20 A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he has brought justice through to victory.
21     In his name the nations will put their hope.” – Matthew 12:18-21

I have been reading the Chronicles of Narnia to my oldest son, Noah, for the past few months. Every night, we read another chapter or two through the fantasy world that C.S. Lewis crafted. The lion Aslan, of course, is our favorite character. Noah gets excited when Aslan comes into the story; I’ll admit, I do too. Aslan is the allegorical Christ figure in the story; the son of the great Emperor beyond the sea, who created Narnia, and died and came back to life to save it from the tyranny of the White Witch.

The characters in the story love Aslan, and he loves them. One of the most compelling characteristics of Aslan is that he is not a tame lion, but he is good. The same lion that goes mightily to battle is the same lion that plays with the children and lets them bury their faces in his mane. In Aslan both power and tenderness coexist in unity.

I think that C.S. Lewis used this imagery to teach an important truth; God possesses ultimate power and tenderness. In the Gospel of Matthew, the author quotes the scripture from Isaiah above in reference to Jesus. Jesus has won the ultimate battle and will establish justice for all people. Jesus is full of might to see, but it is not a might that overwhelms those who need to be protected. He won’t break a bruised reed or snuff out a smoldering wick. Jesus is full of unbelievable power and unbelievable tenderness. The voice that spoke the world into existence is the same voice that speaks tender words over us.

As a church, we have been going through the book of Revelation, which is full of intense imagery and depiction of power and might. We read about the intense cosmic battles of Satan and evil against God and His church, which ends with God’s victory. In the midst of this, we also see the tenderness of God.

For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’ ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’” – Revelations 7:17

When we run to that tender Father who carries us in His arms, we also run to the ultimate protector. The victorious Lion of the tribe of Judah is also the Lamb who leads us to rest and wipes away all our tears. Power and tenderness combined in perfect love. I pray that this week you will be able to rest in the powerful arms of our tender Father.