I am constantly amazed at how the Lord reveals new insight into his Word. Verses I have read a thousand times suddenly take on new meaning. This happened to me again this past week. As I was preparing the playlist for my Front Porch Gospel Music Show (the theme this week being Christian oldies), I came across a song by a gentlemen named Oden Fong called “White Eagle”. The chorus of the song speaks of Christ as an Eagle:
Hey! White Eagle, He flies
Right in front of your eyes, but you’re blinded
Hey! He’s a-coming again
He’s gone missing my friend
Till He comes to take us away
I had never heard of Jesus being described as an eagle. So I did a search online of “Jesus like an eagle” and came across this familiar (and curious/puzzling) passage from Ezekiel 1:5-6a, 10:
“And from the midst of it there came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: They had the likeness of a man. And every one had four faces…As for the likeness of their faces, they had the face of a man; and the four of them had the face of a lion on the right side, and the four of them had the face of an ox on the left side, and the four of them had the face of an eagle.”
As many times as I have read this as a born-again Christian, I never realized that the four faces represented different aspects of our Savior (and each was symbolized in the 4 gospels).
- Face of a man (Luke) – this obviously refers to Jesus taking on human form to save mankind. As a human his divinity was hidden except on a couple of occasions such as the Transfiguration. That the God who created the universe loved us so much that he took on human form to save us is mind blowing. And it should be.
- Face of a lion (Matthew) – a reference to Jesus being the Lion of the tribe of Judah. This signifies strength and boldness. Revelation 5:5 says “And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the book and to loose the seals thereof”. Jesus shows that he has TOTAL authority over all creation – even the atheists will one day acknowledge that. I also find it fascinating that when John turned to look in verse 6, he did NOT see Him as a lion. He saw Him as a LAMB.
- Face of an Ox (Mark) – An ox is an animal that serves and sacrifices for others through hard work. The Gospels are replete with stories of how our Lord came to serve, not to be served. He paid the ultimate sacrifice by taking upon himself our sin and the wrath of God that we justly deserve. But we have escaped it if we have accepted his free gift of salvation.
- Face of an Eagle (John) – An eagle transcends the normal bonds of earth and soars high in the sky (the heavens). It is powerful. This symbolizes the nature of Christ. He was not suppressed by the evil He encountered (or the praise when they attempted to make him an earthly king). In fact He triumphed over death and sin through his resurrection. As believers we have the power through the Holy Spirit to rise above our daily trails and tribulations. Isaiah 40:31 reminds us: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
The song “White Eagle” talks of the “eagle” returning and ends with what one could interpret as a symbolization of the rapture:
Up from the mountains (up from the mountains)
Up from the valley (up from the valley)
Up from green mountains (up from green mountains)
From the Death Valley
Higher, higher, higher
A day is coming when Jesus will return and we will be caught up with Him in the air. Which means we will FLY! Like an Eagle! Up and away, higher and higher. Sin and death will no longer have any power over us! We will be made new (and YOUNG again!).
O death, where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory? But thanks be to God, who gives us VICTORY through our Lord Jesus Christ!
Come White Eagle!!!