Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Who Is The Lamb?

The next day he [John] saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, 'Behold, the lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!'" -John 1:29

     All throughout the Bible there are discussions of lambs and sacrifices, but what does it mean to be the "lamb of God"? What is the significance of this name? Often times we sing hymns and we read scripture about Jesus being the lamb, but what does that even mean?

     The first mentioning of a lamb is in Genesis 4, talking about how Abel was a sheppard who tended to a flock of sheep as we see in verse 2. In verse 4 we can see that Abel brought the firstborn of his flock when he sacrificed to God, as was commanded. If you think about it, the first mentioning of a lamb is one that comes with sacrifice. The first born. In parallel,  Jesus is God's only son, and we can also see that He was the first born or Marry, as she was still a virgin and unless a miracle happens, she's just not going to have any other kids until she changes that. Jesus was the first of the flock, so to speak. 

     Genesis 22 is about Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac, his first born. God told Abraham to sacrifice his son on the alter as we see in verse 2. In verse 7, where it mentions the lamb, it says, "And Isaac said to his father Abraham, 'My father!' And he said, 'Here I am, my son.' He said 'Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?'" Here we see a boy who understands the meaning of sacrifice, and understands that it must be a lamb that is offered. In fact, he probably also knew that the sacrifice was to be of the first born. Isaac was taught the Word from a young age. Also, his father was told in Genesis 17:4 that he was going to be the father of many nations. 
     In parallel to Genesis 22, God is the Father of many nations. Now I am not saying this to say that all religions are true, because obviously if two contradict each other then at least one of them has to be wrong. However, God is the father of many nations in the way that He accepts people of all cultures, backgrounds, etc. as long as we are willing to change from any bad things we had going on before we became Christians. We can also see from Genesis 22 that Isaac was a sacrifice. Like Jesus, he was made to be a sacrifice of his father. Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son for the love of God, and for the forgiveness of sins. Unlike Jesus, however, Isaac didn't die but he did rise from the alter. Also, in Genesis 22:8, in response to Isaac asking where that lamb was, Abraham's response was "God will provide for himself a lamb for a burnt offering, my son." Jesus was not sacrificed on the same ind of alter that lambs usually were, as a burnt offering, but Jesus was still a sacrifice. This parallel is really one that takes more than just a couple paragraphs to completely cover, but God did provide a lamb to be an offering: His son.

     I know I was unable to cover a whole lot of parallels with lambs and Jesus, but there are so many that I couldn't really go through them all. Jesus is the first born or Marry, the only son of God, who was sent to save us for our sins. The thing that is the most striking to me is that Jesus is not our lamb. Jesus is God's lamb. God did not gain anything through sacrificing the life of His son, but we gained forgiveness of sins. This is why Jesus is the lamb of God.

     Today I hope I have helped you see a little more clearly how truly wonderful God is, and how amazing it is that His only son died for your sins and mine if we only take Him on in baptism as we see in Mark 16:16 and many other verses. Today I want to ask you what you are sacrificing. Being a girl can be rough at times and it can be easy to say, "There's nothing I can sacrifice to God. I can't preach, I can't be an elder, I can't be a deacon. What can I do?" Well, that's a whole other article (which I actually wrote about if you want to click here to read it) but there are things you can do for God, and for others. Today I would like to encourage you all to think of one thing you have an abundance of, and think of a way you can use it for God. It's a challenge at times, but it's always worth it in the end.