“Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” John 1:29
This is the name. This is one that completely rattles me…every…time.
The name Lamb of God referred to Jesus as the perfect and ultimate sacrifice for sin.
In Marty Machowki’s book, The Ology, he writes, “While Moses was on Mount Sinai receiving God’s law from God Himself, the Israelites camped at the foot of the mountain, were already breaking God’s law by worshipping an idol. Rather than destroying his people then and there, God provided a way for the people to get rid of their sin. God gave his plan the name atonement, which means to cover over. God’s plan involved killing an animal instead of the person who sinned.
Killing an animal might seem like a harsh way to handle sin, but God wanted to send an important message: Everyone who sins owes God a life. Remember God’s hard and fast rule that sin brings death? Someone has to pay for sin. Either we pay with our life, or someone else takes our place. There is no other way.”
In order to understand the name, Lamb of God, we must understand the sacrificial system in Scripture, and that it was instituted by God Himself to prepare the hearts and minds of His children for the coming of Christ.
Everything…every single thing…about the system pointed to Jesus and the cross. Everything.
While the idea of a sacrificial system might seem strange and grizzly to us today, the concept of payment or restitution is something we do understand.
The Bible tells us that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23) and that our sin separates us from God. We also know the Bible teaches we are all sinners and none of us is righteous before God (Romans 3:23). Because of our sin, we are separated from God, and we stand guilty before Him. The only hope we can have is if He provides a way for us to be reconciled to Himself, and that is what He did in sending His Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross. Christ died to make atonement for sin and to pay the penalty of the sins of all who believe in Him.
Jesus, the Lamb of God, came to fulfill and abolish the sacrificial system. He died on the cross for the sins of all mankind, for all time. Through faith in His sacrifice and His blood we have salvation.
Let’s not lose the wonder and awe of Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins. This a crucial part of the Christmas story, of our Christmas story. Immanuel, God with us, came to redeem us…
Forgiveness, costly grace, and eternal reconciliation…
Jesus, Lamb of God, there is no way to ever humanly thank you for removing my sins. I deserve the wrath of God, but You took that punishment for me and gave me Your righteousness. May my life be Yours alone. Set me apart for Your glory…Amen.
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