Symbols & Meanings of Christmas: Lion and Lamb Chrismons

Each day between December 1-25, we will look at one of the traditional symbols of Christmas, what these symbols mean and how they tell the Christmas story of our Savior’s birth.

Chrismons

This week, we will discover the meanings behind some of the Chrismon symbols used to decorate the Christmas tree. Today, we are looking the Lion and the Lamb. The Lion and the Lamb are two images and names for God used in Scripture that describe aspects of Jesus Christ. The attributes of Jesus are as powerful and majestic as a lion and innocent as a sacrificial lamb. At the end of the post you’ll find full size patterns you can use to make your own Chrismons.

Lion Chrismons
Lion Chrismons:

Lion Chrismons

The Lion of Judah

 The Lion is a symbol for Jesus who is sometimes called ‘The Lion of Judah”. John wrote in Revelation 5:5, “And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”

The earliest reference to Jesus as a lion, however, can be found in Genesis, where Jacob (Israel) delivers parting words to each of his sons. When he arrives at Judah, his fourth born, Jacob says, “Judah, your brothers shall praise you; your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; your father’s sons shall bow down to you. ‘Judah is a lion’s whelp; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He couches, he lies down as a lion, and as a lion, who dares rouse him up? ‘The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until Shiloh comes” (Genesis 49:8-10).

Jesus came from the lineages of King David and Judah to forge a new covenant

In this passage, the symbolism of the lion reflects the powerful, majestic, and kingly nature of the lion, often regarded as the king of beasts. Applied to Judah, this is significant because it announces the lineage of Judah as that of kings. King David, who is descendant of Judah, and his descendants would rule over Israel until the time of the Babylonian captivity (1 Chronicles 2; 2 Kings 24). Then, generations later, Jesus Christ would come as a descendent of David and Judah to forge a new covenant and usher in a new kingdom of heavenly glory (Matthew 1:1-17).

The Scepter will not depart from Judah because Jesus will reign eternally

Additionally, when Jacob says that “the scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,” he was also proclaiming the eventual eternal kingdom of Jesus Christ, who will reign forever as king, and the scepter being a symbol of his kingly authority and lordship. 

Lamb Chrismons
Lamb Chrismons

Lamb Chrismons

The Lamb of God

Jesus is also call the Lamb of God. In Revelation 5:6-7, John wrote: “and I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain…And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne”

Blood of a lamb in the Exodus

The Lamb has great significance going back to the days of Abraham and Moses. In the Old Testament, prior to the exodus from Egypt, the children of Israel were instructed to take the blood of an unblemished lamb and smear it on the doorposts and lintel of their houses (Exodus 12:1-13). That night, as the angel of the lord passed through Egypt to strike down the firstborn of each household, those with the blood of the lamb on their doorposts would be passed over and sparred. From that day on, the Lord commanded the Israelites to celebrate an annual Passover feast to celebrate and remember their deliverance from Egypt and commemorate God’s provision in their lives (Exodus 12:14).

In the Old Testament sacrificial system a lamb was offered to cover human sin

And in Old Testament law, the unblemished lamb was again used as a sacrifice as a covering for human sin. In those days, an innocent lamb would take the place of the one who had sinned, as the penalty for sin was death. However, the people had to continually return and make another sacrifice.

The Lamb of God paid the penalty for sin once and for all

With Jesus Christ, however, the penalty for sin was paid for once and for all (Romans 6:10). Through his death on the cross and subsequent resurrection, Jesus became the perfect sacrifice, the pure and innocent Passover lamb who took our place, atoning for sin and ushering in a new covenant of eternal salvation for all who believe and call upon his name.

Behold the Lamb of God

When Jesus began his earthly ministry, it was John the Baptist who proclaimed, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” (John 1:29), connecting Jesus to the sacrificial lamb who wouldn’t just cover sin but would ultimately take it away.

Full size patterns for your Chrismons

Simply right-click, copy, and paste into a blank document and print on white paper to create your own Chrismons. Once you paste them into a document, you can resize them before you print them to get the size you want. You can then decorate them with gold glitter, paint, sequins, or any other gold decorations you like. Or you can also cut them out to use for patterns on other materials, such as Styrofoam, felt, poster board, etc. You can make them as fancy or simple as you want.

Lion Chrismons pattern
Lamb Chrismons pattern

Chrismon patters from: https://www.whychristmas.com/customs/chrismons.shtml. You’ll find additional Chrismon patterns there as well.

Previous posts on Chrismons

Check our post from December 14 to get the patterns for the Stars and Angel Chrismons.

Check our post from December 15 to get the patterns for the Shepherds’ Staff and Dove.

The from December 16 has the patterns for the Fish and Anchor Chrismons.

Check our post from December 17 to get the patterns for the Oil Lamp and Rose Chrismons.

Check our post from December 19 to get the patterns for the Triquetra and Shell Chrismons.

Yesterday’s post (December 20) has the patterns for the cup, cross, and crown.

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