He Didn’t Die for Lions – Gospel of Matthew

Cecil the Lion 10 2015

In early July 2015, news spread quickly around the world about a little known American man and a little known Zimbabwean lion. Walter James Palmer the dentist killed Cecil the lion. Americans rioted in the streets and threatened to butcher the dentist and his family.

It’s very easy to misplace value. Jesus didn’t die on the cross to save lions; He came to save sinful people.

He shall save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21).

While we place the greater value in man-made objects like cars and houses, animals like the spotted owls and old lions, the “freedom to choose” over unborn babies, God has placed the greater value in humanity. Talking about God’s care of flowers and animals, Jesus then added, Are you not of more value than they? (Matthew 6:26).

God cares about lions, but He only ever said that He loves people.

Before entering Jerusalem to be horribly beaten, tried and condemned in a kangaroo court, and then mercilessly murdered upon a cross, the disciples of Jesus argued over which of them would be greatest. Jesus told them that the heathen place value in power over others, but the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28).

Lions are beautiful (unless you’re a gazelle), but God places the greatest value in humanity which He created in His own image (Genesis 1:26). He proved that value by sacrificing His own Son to redeem sinners: not lions.


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