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lamb. The Paschal lamb is the lamb the Jews sacrifice to start the Jewish celebration of Passover. Jesus fulfilled this roll, being the perfect sacrifice for our sins.

LION – A symbol of Jesus being the “lion of Judah” is based on Revelation 5:5. In this instance, the lion must have a halo. SEE ALSO: Animals: Lion.

THE NATIVITY (Manger, Crèche) – The word “nativity” comes from the Latin word “nativus” meaning “birth”. Nativity scenes have become a popular decoration during the holiday of Christmas which celebrates Jesus’ birth.

Simple nativity scenes consist of Mary, Joseph and the child Jesus who is usually lying in a manger (crèche). More complex nativity scenes can include a donkey, an ox, a camel, sheep, shepherds, three wise men and a star.

The manger is sometimes shown by itself either empty or with Jesus lying in it. If Jesus is present in the manger, the child must have a halo surrounding His head to symbolize His divinity.

ORPHEUS – This symbol represents Jesus. It was taken from pagan sources. The story goes that Orpheus would play such beautiful, melodic music that it would tame even the wildest of beasts. This is similar to the beautiful message Jesus preached that can tame even


the most terrible sins in a person’s life. In the symbol, Jesus is shown with a musical instrument in His hand, and many allegorical animals surround Him. The animals represent sinful man, tamed by His music.

OX – The ox symbolizes Jesus because both the ox and Jesus were sacrifices for sins.

PELICAN – Legend tells us that the pelican would tear open its breast and use its own blood to feed its young. The young would live, but the adult would die. This sacrifice represents Jesus, who died so that we may live.

ROCK – 1. Jesus Christ is referred to as a rock in I Corinthians 10:4. Paul was alluding to the rock that brought forth water for the Israelites as they wandered through the desert (Exodus 17:6). In this case, the rock symbolizes Jesus as our provider, taking care of our needs. 2. Jesus as our rock and solid foundation is based on Psalm 18:2 which compares our Lord to a rock and fortress. Matthew 7:24 also describes the rock as being the foundation of a sturdy house. 3. If the rock is shown with four rivers of water flowing from it, the rock symbol is referring to the four rivers found in Paradise (Genesis 2:10) 4. In Matthew 16:18, Peter told Jesus that He was the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Jesus told Peter that his comment was revealed to him from Heaven; and, upon the statement made by Peter He would build His church. This is symbolized by a church built upon a rock.

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© 2016 By Doug Gray. All Rights Reserved.