The lion is popularly known as ‘king of the Forest.’ He symbolises royalty, strength, courage, power and magnificence. He is also known to be a proud animal that, because of its colour, is identified with the sun. He graces the banners and insignia of many nations, cities, kings, military and naval forces. The Roman legion proudly bore the lion on its insignia.
Perhaps one of the most famous of the cities noted for the symbol of the lion is Venice, long associated with St. Mark the Evangelist who wrote one of the Gospels. It is the Lion of St. Mark that is the symbol of the city of Venice. The winged lion is the symbol of St. Mark’s Gospel, and this lion is also one of the four living creatures around the throne of God as seen in the Book of Revelation 4:7. The greatest association of the lion is with the person of our Lord and Saviour Jesus. Of course, before his arrival in New Testament times, the lion was long associated with the strong men of Israel like David from whom Jesus descended, and his mighty men Samson, Saul, and Jonathon who were not only lion-like but who were stronger that lions. (Judg 14:5-9; 1Sam 17:34-37; 2 Sam 1:23; 17:10; 23:20: 1 Chr 11:22; 12:8)
Above all, the greatest is Jesus Himself described in the Book of Revelation as ‘The Lion of the tribe of Judah’ Who “has conquered” (Rev 5:5).