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  • Writer's pictureJames McMaster

The Lion King

Thanks to my very generous family, as an early birthday present, I was able to see The Lion King on stage in London this week! I loved both the films, the original cartoon version and the new remake, but nothing can compare to seeing it on stage- visually and musically it just blows your mind! At the beginning, when all the animals were gathering to celebrate the birth of the new king, Simba, they actually had a life-size pretend elephant walking up the isle...In short, if you have the chance, you really need to see it!

I think that one of the things which has always attracted me to the film is what could be called ‘the Gospel echo’; that there was some reflection of the Jesus in the story. To be sure this probably wasn’t the design of the producers of the film/play as, for instance, ‘the Circle of life’ concept- despite being a great song- is a rather un-Christian idea. The Bible’s viewpoint of history is linear; a definite beginning leading up to a glorious end when Jesus returns to wrap up history.

What I mean by a ‘Gospel echo’ is that Simba in a rather limited way (at times Simba is foolish and arrogant) is reminiscent of Jesus-

Son of the King

Was hated for no good reason

Was betrayed by someone who should have been close to him

Was befriended by unlikely characters

Gets to a point when he feels alienated from his father

Had to fight to restore his kingdom

But perhaps the most significant reason that I see a Gospel refection in the story is that Scripture describes Jesus ‘as the Lion of the tribe of Judah’. Indeed, one of the most powerful pictures of Jesus in the whole Bible is found in Revelation 5, where the Apostle John sees a ferocious Lion on God’s throne (this is John’s way of making it clear that Jesus is nothing less than God), but when John looks again he sees not a lion but a lamb ‘as though it had been slain’. This is utterly jaw dropping as in these two pictures John sees the power of Christ presented in a strange and wonderful way. Power through death- death on a cross. Jesus conquered the powers of hell by laying down His life as a substitutionary sin offering for the sins of His people!

I am so glad that because Jesus took away my sins by dying on the Cross- I stand forgiven today. Come the judgment day I need not fear the wrath of the Lion of God because the blood of the Lamb of God was shed for me. Jesus has promised that absolutely everyone who trusts in the power of His death alone to take away their sins will be absolutely forgiven.

Is The Lion King your King?

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