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The Pelican as a Symbol: Explained

The wounded bird as a symbol relies on an old legend about pelicans.  The story was that  in times of famine, a pelican would sustain its young on its own lifeblood by wounding itself.

Though the story seems somewhat strange (and even quite gross) today, this was used to explain how we understand the crucifixion of Christ. 

As a teaching tool, this strange story of the pelican reminds us that Jesus willingly allowed himself to be wounded and even killed in order to give life to those that he loved.

This symbol doesn't necessarily provide much in the way of teaching about the resurrection, the incarnation, or even much complexity in terms of atonement theory, but it does provide a simple way to explain the power of the crucifixion.

For a more in-depth analysis of the symbolism of the pelican, as well as more examples of its use, visit the dedicated Pelican symbolism page.

If you enjoyed the movie above, be sure to check out other PreachingSymbols minute movies. The Legend of the Unicorn, in particular, introduces another old legend that was used to teach about Jesus.

Transcript of: The Mystery of the Wounded Bird

One Evening Presley and Simeon Went to a wedding at the Spooky old church Across town 

As soon as they entered, they found an old stained glass window.

The strange image captivated them.
That's when presley noticed it.
The bird was wounded.

The Image of the wounded Bird haunted Presley for days.
Why was it in that church?
Simeon hated to see Presley so upset
He decided that he would solve the mystery
Simeon Returned to the Spooky Church.
All he learned was that the bird was a pelican,
This wasn't much help.
When Simeon returned home, Presley was happier than she had been in weeks.
 She had done some research of her own.
 Solve the mystery with Presley at www.preachingsymbols.com

The Mystery of the Wounded Bird

Congratulations!  You have found the special sneak preview of the first PreachingSymbols.com animated teaser!  What did you think?  Be sure to contact us to let me know what you think about Presley and Simeon's mystery. 

Would you like to see more videos about Christian symbols?  I would love to make them!  Let me know what you're interested in seeing and you may just find it on PreachingSymbols.com.  

- Rev. Derek R. Davenport