My friend Al Collver sent me these pictures a few days ago. I called them “the peaceable Kingdom”. The images from the Bible of a peaceable Kingdom and eternal life are pictures of a recreated created order at peace because of Christ and His work of redemption. The quiet bliss of Eden is brought back and the creation is what God intended it to be. The Prince of Peace has made peace through the blood of his cross and the whole creation praises that Lamb who was slain. The lion lies down with the lamb, the bells on the harnesses of the horses say “holy to the Lord” and there is no more sorrow or tears or pain. The creation that groaned awaiting the revealing of the Sons of God now sings for joy.
Lent began with the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. The Gospel of Mark has the shortest report of Jesus temptation in the wilderness and it gives us an interesting tidbit to think about. “And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him.”
Perhaps we have here the echoes and fulfillment of Psalm 91……
9If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, 10no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. 11For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. 13You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
Maybe the wild animals were hostile and Jesus overcomes them because He is the author of a new creation.
Perhaps there is a kind of environmentalist, hippy dippy, “can’t we all just get along”, interpretation like that of Richard Bauckham…………
“For us, Jesus’ companionable presence with the wild animals affirms their independent value for themselves and for God. He does not adopt them into the human world, but lets them be themselves in peace, leaving them their wilderness, affirming them as creatures who share the world with us in the community of God’s creation.” (Richard Bauckham, “Jesus and the Wild Animals (Mark 1:13): A Christological Image for an Ecological Age,” in Jesus of Nazareth: Lord and Christ—Essays on the Historical Jesus and New Testament Christology (ed. Joel B. Green and Max Turner; Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans/Carlisle: Paternoster, 1994) 3-21.
From Colossians 1 Paul says,
19 For in him (Christ) all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
When God reconciles all things to himself those things are reconciled to one another.